Average Asking Rents Hit Record High

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Average asking rents for new tenants have risen at a rapid pace, according to the property website Rightmove.

Outside the capital city, the average rent asked for by landlords now tops £1,231 per month, a third (33%) higher than during the same period in 2019, increasing by £308 from £923 per month. Renters in London are being asked to pay a new record high of £2,567 per month, a rise of 28% (£559 per month) higher than they were at the same time in 2019.

The asking rent figures, covering Britain, are for the second quarter of this year. Rightmove’s rental data goes back to 2011. It seems that rental homes are continuing to let at speed and many landlords are still being met with long queues of prospective tenants wanting to view and rent their property. The firm added that the average property available to rent is finding a tenant in 17 days, the quickest time period it has recorded since November 2022.

There are also signs that some landlords are selling up, as 16% of properties currently for sale were previously available on the rental market, a figure which is up from 13% in January 2019.  Despite facing multiple market challenges, some landlords are determined to keep good tenants in their homes, with 57% of landlords saying tenants choose to stay in their properties for longer than 24 months.

Lynne Lancaster, head of estate agency at Penrith Farmers and Kidd’s, said: “Demand continues to well outstrip supply and we are actually seeing more tenants stay put for longer rather than move after the agreed term.”

Allison Thompson, national lettings managing director of Leaders Romans Group, said: “Some highly leveraged landlords are considering selling due to interest rate rises but we find most are mortgage-free, and in most cases our advice is to avoid a knee-jerk reaction.”

Rightmove’s director of property science Tim Bannister said: “Average asking rents for new tenants have risen at a rapid pace since the pandemic, reflecting the significant increase in demand, which is driven by a combination of factors including changed housing needs, such as some space to work from home.”