Average asking rents have increased at the fastest rate on record, new data shows. The average rental posted on Rightmove outside London is now £1,068 – 9.9 per cent higher than this time last year.
Rent rises are outpacing house price growth in all but three regions – East Midlands, South West & South East – Rightmove said.
London rents also hit a new record high of £2,142 pcm, after a 6.1 per cent increase in the past three months.
Rents in the capital have risen beyond pre-pandemic levels for the first time, and are now 3 per cent higher than the beginning of 2020.
The figures will add to concerns about a cost-of-living squeeze this year, with energy bills expected to jump 50 per cent and inflation hitting a three-decade high.
Rightmove predicts more pain for renters, with prices set to rise by 5 per cent in 2022 as demand continues to outstrip supply. Tenant demand is 3 per cent higher than this time last year, the company said.
Meanwhile, the number of available properties is 51 per cent lower than the same period last year. However, it is 7 per cent higher than the same period in December, a sign of availability improving.
Wales saw the biggest average rise at 12.7 per cent, followed by the the North West of England (12.5 per cent).
Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister said that a “race for space” during the pandemic had begun to reverse, causing rents in cities to rise.
Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves estate agents, said: “The London rental market is drastically different to that seen in 2020 when landlords were forced to heavily reduce asking rents to secure a tenant and avoid lengthy void periods due to an exodus of market activity from the capital.
“In fact, the surplus of available rental stock that accumulated due to the pandemic has now plummeted and this has been driven by a staggered return to the workplace and, in particular, a huge influx of demand from overseas students.”