Rents increase driven by 'greater competition between tenants'
Rents across Great Britain increased last year to 2.4 per cent, up from 1.8 per cent in 2016, according to the latest data and analysis from estate agents Countrywide.
The average rent ended 2017 at £960 per month, up by £23 a month from the start of the year.
While rents rose a third faster than they did in 2016, rental growth was still behind rates in both 2015 (3.2 per cent) and 2014 (4.9 per cent).
And 46 per cent of landlords increased the rent when re-letting their properties, up from 37 per cent in 2016.
Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, said: “Last year saw the rate of rental growth pick up to get closer to its long-term average.
"Most of the rise comes from a pickup in rental growth in London, after falls in 2016. Rents rose across every region of Great Britain last year, although the north of England saw rents rise at a slower rate than they did in 2016.
"Rental growth has been supported by a fall in the number of homes on the rental market, with the biggest fall in London. It looks like increased competition between tenants for rental homes will drive faster rental growth in 2018.”
In a reversal of 2016 when London had the slowest rate of rental growth in England, last year it had the fastest.
Over the course of 2017 rents in London rose 3.2 per cent, reversing the 0.8 per cent fall recorded in 2016.
Scotland (3.3 per cent) was the only region in Great Britain where rental growth outstripped the capital.
Last year also saw Yorkshire and Humber replace Wales as the sixth most expensive region of Great Britain to rent a home.
In 2017 landlords bought 12.5 per cent of homes sold in Great Britain, down from 14.7 per cent in 2016, and 16.3 per cent in 2015.
In December 2017 there were 4 per cent fewer homes to rent across Great Britain than in December 2016, with London recording a 21 per cent fall, the largest of any region.
Despite the stamp duty hike induced fall in stock, there were 5 per cent more homes available to rent than there were two years ago. However in London the number of homes on the market has dropped by a third.