Buy to Let Rents Rise - but Number Crunchers Disagree How Much

Buy-to-let rents jumped 1.4% in 2019, according to official data. Annual rent increases had plateaued at a monthly 1.3% increase between May and October but increased to 1.4% in November and stayed at that point in December 2019, says the Office for National Statistics. 

The last time rents hit that mark was in November 2017, after 18 months of decline, and they slipped to a low of 0.9% between July and November 2018. 

Although average rents across the UK were up last year, the rise was 1.2% in Wales and 0.6% in Scotland. In London, the year-on-year increase was 1.2%, a regional climb of 0.2% from 1% in November. 

In monetary terms, UK rents showed a £7 a month raise for every £500 rent between December 2018 and December 2019. 

ONS records for buy-to-let rents started in January 2015 and showed an 8.5% rise to the end of 2019. 

By region in England, the highest rent rise for 2019 was in the South West (+2.2%), followed by the East Midlands (2.1%), Yorkshire and the Humber (1.9%) and the East of England (1.5%). 

The lowest rent growth was in the North East (+0.5%), followed by the capital and the North West, which increased by 1.2%. 

When London rents are stripped out of English data, tenants pay an extra 1.6% yearly. 

The ONS data covers new and existing tenancies. 

Tenant referencing firm Homelet has published UK buy-to-let rent data for 2019, which shows rents increased 3.5% year-on-year to the end of December 2019, with the average monthly payment standing at £953 a month. 

The highest rent growth was in Wales, hitting 9.7% and an average payment of £653, while the lowest was in the South West, up 0.5% to an average of £840. 

The firm says the data is based on rents from landlords checking tenant references through the company’s service.

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