Residential property rents hit record high as buy-to let mortgage uptake accelerates

Average rents across England and Wales have reached the highest levels ever recorded, hitting £757 per month over September this year.

According to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services, average rents rose by 2.1% since last September, overtaking the previous record by £13 set in October 2012 when monthly rents averaged £744.

Record rents also mirrored faster lettings activity. The number of new tenancies across England and Wales increased by 6.5% compared to August, taking the number of new lettings in September to levels 9.2% above those seen in September 2012.

In addition, strong growth was recorded in the areas of buy-to-let and remortgages, according to chartered surveyors Connells Survey & Valuation, which noticed a 66% and 64% monthly acceleration respectively.

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services said:“A new peak in tenant demand has driven rents to new heights, well above all previous records. Higher rents in almost every region show that, despite government schemes, buying a first home is still a difficult aspiration. This is not only down to low salary growth, but also a general shortage of supply – which is the underlying reason why homes are getting more expensive.  The long term-trend to renting therefore looks unlikely to change significantly in the near future, despite the better availability of finance compared to previous years.”

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation said: “After five years of relative inactivity, the only danger now could be the pace of improvement.

“What’s certain is that more people are able to buy a home.  And the next rungs on the property ladder are looking far more solid than even a few months ago.”

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