Property website Rightmove said rents outside London hit record £845 a month in early July
Rents have continued to climb across England, but they are sliding in London as Airbnb owners abandon hopes of attracting holidaymakers and put their properties on the long-term rental market.
Property website Rightmove said asking rents outside London hit a record of £845 a month in early July, up 3.4% on the same time last year.
But in the capital, rents fell by 0.6% over the year, with stock levels up 41%. It said the rise in flats and houses available for rent was “fuelled by landlords with holiday lets now competing for long-term rentals”.
The Rightmove data records asking prices for new properties to rent on its website, and is more volatile than figures from the Office for National Statistics.
It found that private rental prices paid by tenants in England rose by 1.5% in the 12 months to June 2020, unchanged since April 2020. Rents in Wales were up 1.4%, and in Scotland by 0.6%. The ONS data captures annual rent increases for existing tenants and are regarded as the most reliable snapshot of the rental market.
However, even the ONS figures are “experimental” and other indices which cover separate parts of the rental market are showing widely varying figures. Spare Room, a website which matches up sharers for rental properties, said its figures showed that the UK’s average monthly room rents fall by 2% when comparing the second quarter of 2020 with the same period in 2019.
However, it said this masked major regional variations, with London room rents down 7% to £725 compared to £777 last year. Northern Ireland recorded the biggest rise in rents, up 8% over the year, but from a low base. Average rents in the region are £378 a month and it remains the cheapest place in the UK to rent.
Rightmove said the number of new properties available to rent collapsed by half during the lockdown, but is now back to last year’s levels. But the Airbnb effect is having a big impact on some local markets, with listings in London up 41% and listings in Edinburgh ahead by 34%.
Rightmove director, Miles Shipside, said: “The pause in the rental market has led to some distorted figures over the past few months, especially in cities where landlords with short-term lets made the swap to instead try to find a long-term tenant.”
He predicted that the legacy of coronavirus will be more tenants seeking a spare room and a garden.