Private sector rents in the UK have increased by 1.02% in the 12 months to September 2018, and by 0.12% month on month to an average of £1,210, according to the latest index to be published.
The Landbay rental index also shows that excluding London rents increased by 1.24% year on year and 0.12% month on month to £768, while in London they increased by 0.61% on an annual basis and 0.13% month on month to £1,896.
In England rents were up just 0.98% year on year and 0.12% month on month to £1,242. Growth has been led by Wales with an annual rise of 1.77% year on year and 0.17% month on month to £654.
In Northern Ireland rents increased by 1.51% year on year and just 0.01% month on month to £576 while in Scotland they increased by 1.46% on an annual basis and by 0.18% on a monthly basis to £740.
The September index also looked at rents graduates moving to London for their first job this year might be paying, and found that on average they now need £124 more for a one bed property than the previous year and over £300 in some boroughs.
Those hoping to not have to share face spending 74% of a London graduate’s average post-tax income of £1,980 on £1,465 of rent, paying out £124 per year more than those moving to London the year before.
In a shared house of two people, overall rent of £1,944 adds up to 49% of each tenant’s income, while those co-habiting in a three bed property would each spend 46% of their monthly take home pay on rent of £2,709.
It also shows that the most affordable average residential rents of properties are found in Bexley at £1,022, Sutton at £1,071, Havering at £1,083, Croydon at £1,143 and Bromley at £1,191. This is despite Bexley having seen the second strongest rental growth of all the boroughs with a 1.71% rise in average rents over the last year.
The picture is much changed from a year ago. Rents in London have been increasing year on year in 28 out of the 33 London Boroughs, compared to the same time last year when rents were falling in 16 of the boroughs.
Out of the top 10 most affordable boroughs, Lewisham is the most viable option for renters wanting to be closer to the centre. Average rental prices of £1,254 make it the eighth most affordable London borough, also being just 15 minutes via train from the City of London.
On the other end of the spectrum, the most expensive average rents are found in the traditional prime property locations with Kensington and Chelsea at £3,051, Westminster at £2,938, Camden at £2,253, the City of London at £2,138 and Hammersmith and Fulham at £1,918, all well out of reach for those on a starting salary.
‘Many moving to London may now be struggling with the balance between location and affordability. Historically, desirable locations are likely to hold a rent burden that may make living costs insurmountable,’ said John Goodall, chief executive officer of Landbay.
‘Young professionals now need to weigh up a variety of factors, including commuting length, travel costs, and above all rent. This is especially true if they hope to save and invest, with the goal of achieving that first step onto the property ladder in the future,’ he explained.
‘With the influx of students moving to the capital each year brokers can help their clients evaluate which areas and properties present the best opportunity that benefit from affordability, commuting distance and an attractive rental yield,’ he added.