The UK witnessed a marginal increase to average monthly rents in 2017, which rose by 0.56 per cent to £1,196, according to the latest rental price index by Landbay.
In terms of individual countries, Wales saw the biggest change, with average rents increasing by 1.36 per cent to £643 in 2017, while Scotland was just behind, reporting a rise of 1.18 per cent and averaging at £729.
In Northern Ireland, rents were up 0.75 per cent to £563, while average rent in England grew 0.5 per cent to £1,227.
One twist to the tale though was that London - which has been slammed for inflated rents in the past - saw rents fall year on year, with a drop of 0.8 per cent to reach an average of £1,872.
Rent rises were largely flat month to month throughout 2017 and that was the case in December. Despite a tiny 0.01 per cent rise in England, other UK countries reported a drop in average rents, slipping 0.12 per cent in Northern Ireland, 0.1 per cent in Scotland and 0.06 per cent in both London and Wales.
UK-wide rents were flat on a monthly basis, but if London is excluded they increased by 0.03 per cent.
Landbay, which published these figures, said there are now signs that demand for low-rent accommodation by long-distance commuters to London is pushing up rents in many commuter towns.
John Goodall, chief executive of the peer-to-peer lending platform for residential buy-to-let mortgages, said the annual rent rise served as “a double whammy” following news this week of the steepest rail fare increases in five years.
He blamed greater tenant demand had driven rents higher, adding: “Without a radical house building plan for purchase as well as purpose-built rental properties, rental price growth is expected to accelerate this year.”
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