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Average rent rises to £744 a month

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by Jan Harris
Average rent rises to £744 a month

The cost of renting a home continued to increase in October but at a slower rate, with the average monthly rent in England and Wales reaching £744, according to LSL Property Services.

This is 0.4 per cent higher than the average in September and 3.4 per cent higher than in October 2011.

October was the seventh consecutive month of rent rises, putting further pressure on families whose income is already being squeezed by the high cost of living.

Tenants in London and the south–east of England suffered the biggest rise, with rents increasing by 0.9 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively compared with September.

Rents fell in five areas, with the East Midlands and Wales recording the biggest falls, of 1.8 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively.

David Newnes, director of LSL, said: “A combination of improved buyer activity and a seasonal slowdown has taken some of the heat out of the rental market as it enters the traditionally quieter final months of the year.

“However, despite the deceleration, the fact that monthly rents rose by twice the rate seen a year ago points to the underlying strength of tenant demand.”

Rent is also rising steeply for university students.

According to data from the National Union of Students, the average cost of university accommodation has doubled in 10 years, from £59.17 a week in 2001/2 to £117.67 a week in 2011/12.

There are wide regional differences in costs with some university flats in London costing more than £400 a week, more than the average mortgage in London.

The basic student loan stands at just £5,000, making university accommodation unaffordable for many students.

With tuition fees now costing up to £9,000, students are finding it impossible to make ends meet.

Pete Mercer, NUS vice-president, said: “University heads should urgently be looking at properly planning accommodation supply and capping rent increases to ensure students are not priced out of living in halls.”

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News posted: November 16, 2012

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