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Published on 8th February 2023

Property spotlight: Rental market trends

Rents increased by 4% in 2022, the fastest rate for seven years, with significant rental growth in several large UK cities.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 1 in 4 tenants surveyed at the end of last year said their rent had risen in the previous six months.

Property website, Zoopla, reports that the average monthly rent is £117 higher than this time last year, with a heavy demand for one and two-bedroom flats in major UK cities with strong employment markets and significant student populations. The average UK monthly rent is now £1,078, a 12.1% increase since the start of last year.

Where rents are rising fast

Zoopla reports that the most expensive regions to rent in December 2022 were the South East and East of England. The following cities recorded the highest rental growth in the last 12 months:

  • London: +17%
  • Manchester: +15.6%
  • Glasgow: +14.1% rise
  • Bristol: +12.9%
  • Sheffield +12.4%
  • Birmingham: +12.3%

In the capital, which has seen the highest rise, the number of private renters is now over one million 1,025,533, ONS). That figure represents a 25% increase in a decade according to census data.

Where rents are lower

Wales, East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North West recorded average rents of between £700 and £800.

The most affordable UK regions to rent are in:

  • the North East (£612)
  • Northern Ireland (£679)
  • Scotland (£688).

The most affordable major UK cities are:

  • Newcastle (£712)
  • Liverpool (£717)
  • Sheffield (£735), despite a 12.4% increase from last year.

Property rental forecast

Zoopla expects annual rental growth to be between 4% and 5% by the end of 2023, and sees the availability of new homes for rent improving slowly during the year ahead.

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