UK rental price growth driven by south of England

The price paid by tenants has risen on an annual basis nationwide, but much of this private rented sector growth has been driven by improvements for landlords in the south of England, according to new data.

In its latest property market report, Countrywide said that the price of rent across the nation was 1.1 per cent higher at the end of September than it was at the same time a year ago. This has been helped by the fact that the south-west has seen its average rise to £795 per calendar month.

It means that the south-west has experienced rising rental prices of more than two per cent, while Wales, the south-east and east of England all experienced strong growth of two per cent, 1.9 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively.

Such strong activity in the south of England is a return to trends that we haven’t seen in the private rented sector for some time now. Recently, the north was the strongest part of the market, with demand pushing prices in cities such as Liverpool and Manchester ever higher, but we are now seeing a return to previous trends.

The report states that this reversal in trends is largely a result of more homes being available in the north than the south, thanks to decreasing landlord activity in the latter. A lower supply means higher competition between tenants, which can lead to inflated prices.

Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, said: “Rental price growth continues to be supported by the low number of landlord purchases, particularly across the south of England.

“The number of rental homes on the market has continued to drop with more southern-based landlords looking northwards in search of better yields and lower stamp duty bills. Conversely, northern England has seen double-digit increases in the number of homes on the market which is likely to temper rental growth,” he added.