LSL: Rents reach record high in September

| October 24, 2011

A survey by LSL Property Services has revealed rents in England and Wales continue to surge, with the average rent hitting a further record high last month.

September represented the eighth consecutive month that the average rental cost rose.

Lenders’ deposit requirements, together with unaffordable house prices, has meant the rental sector has been in high demand and this has driven up prices.

According to LSL, the average rent stands at £718 – an all-time high – with rents rising by 4.3% in the last year alone.

Rents increased fastest in the South East and the East Midlands, up by 1.8% and 1.1% respectively on a monthly basis.

However, rents are on an upward trend across the country and it is unlikely that tenants will gain respite any time soon, explains David Newnes of LSL.

Research shows many tenants in rented properties would like to get a foot on the property ladder but are unable to do so unless they have a deposit of around 20% in order to secure a mortgage.

Mr Newnes comments: “In many cases, buying a home is now cheaper on a monthly basis - provided renters can get past the stumbling block of the substantial deposit requirements.

“For the majority, saving a £25,000 deposit is a Herculean task as inflation and rents climb - and most would-be buyers are biting the bullet and prolonging their stay in increasingly costly rental accommodation.”

In the meantime, tenant arrears improved, dropping to their lowest level in almost 18 months, with 8.6% of all UK rent unpaid or late by the end of September, down from 10.7% in August.

Despite the improvement, tenants will face mounting pressure over the medium term, particularly as inflation remains high and public sector job losses take effect.

In related news, housing charity Shelter recently said private rents had become unaffordable in 55% of council areas in England.

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