UK rental growth slows in February

UK rental growth slows in February [Image: AndreaAstes via iStock]

Rental growth in the UK has slowed, with values falling by 0.6 per cent in February from the same month the previous year.

According to the latest Countrywide lettings index, the drop in rental prices in London and the south east are responsible, with the former seeing a fall of 4.7 per cent and the latter experiencing a fall of 2.6 per cent.

It marks the first time rents have fallen in six years.

However, prices have increased in the rest of the country. When not taking London figures into account, prices rose by 0.8 per cent, but growth slowed in nine out of 11 UK regions.

The East and West Midlands were the only regions that saw faster rental growth in February than in January.

It was also revealed that in February, the average rent in the UK was £921 a month, which is £5 less than in February 2016. However, rents are still £112 a month more than their 2007 high, which reflects a 14 per cent growth.

According to the Countrywide index, the slowdown in average rental growth is due to a fall in the number of tenants as well as higher numbers of homes available to rent in London and the south east.

Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, said: “Rents are growing in most of the country but falls in London and the south east are dragging down the national growth rate. Recent falls in London and the south east are small in the context growth in recent years. Rents are a third higher in London and the south east than in 2007.”

He added that early signs are pointing towards a “rare year” when rents will rise faster in the north of the UK than in the south.