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London rents drop 10pc

Sam Cordon

July 12, 2013

The average asking rent in the South East rose by £30 in quarter two while the average asking rent in Great Britain remained stable at £967.

Robin King, director at Move with Us, said: “It’s interesting to see that rents in London have fallen in a year on year comparison. We can see from our data that is more than just a hangover from the Olympics as the downwards trend has continued long after demand and average asking rents were artificially raised by London 2012.

“Overall however, rental demand across the country remains steady and supply is growing in line with that demand. Estate agents in our partner network have also reported that in the second quarter of 2013 they noticed less than 5% arrears as tenants are being properly referenced and tend to be less likely to fall into financial difficulties.”

Average advertised rents in London now stand at £2,162. Move with Us’ statistics show four successive declines in advertised asking rents. In quarter three 2012 they dropped 4.9%, quarter four 2012 by 2.22%, in quarter one 2013 1.69% and quarter two 2013 they have fallen a further 0.85%.

Yorkshire and Humber is the cheapest region to rent in the country with rents dropping to £603 after an upward growth path.

King said: “On the whole, quarter two 2013 saw relatively minor changes in the regional trends when compared to quarter one. The South East was the stand-out region for quarter two with the largest overall increase in advertised rent of 2.71%.

“Asking rents in The North typically fell again in quarter two levelling out the increases seen in 2012. The South of England remains much stronger than the rest of the country with a £112 gap between the cheapest southern region and the most expensive of all other regions.”

The second quarter of 2013 saw another period of steady decline in the South West region with average advertised rents down by 1.19% to £790 per month. This is equivalent to a fall of £9 when measured against the average of the first three months.

Continued growth and a sharp upturn during December 2012 indicated that advertised rents in this region would continue to improve this year. But instead they have gone against expectation reporting a gradual downward turn. Move with us predicts that any future declines are unlikely to be any greater than those witnessed to date.

Average advertised rents in East Anglia increased by £11 from quarter one, reaching £892 per month in the second quarter, a rise of 1.25% since the beginning of the year.

This was not as significant as the growth seen in the first three months of the year but after a slow Christmas period and its effect on the region’s advertised rents, quarter one witnessed a correction reporting an average rent of £880 per month.

The significant growth of over £50 seen at the end of quarter four in 2012 in the East Midlands has now been offset by two successive periods of reductions which saw advertised rents levelling out at £622 per month.

Average advertised rents in that region are still up on the previous 12 months by £36 which is an early indication that asking rents are likely to fall below £600 per month in the not too distant future.

Looking at the past 12 months, any fluctuation in advertised rental prices for the West Midlands at first glance appear to vary dramatically. But these deviations have been minimal, a trend that continued throughout quarter two this year. Average asking rents rose by only 0.25% to £656 per month.

Advertised rents in the North East have returned to levels more akin to the earlier part of 2012 following an unusual peak to over £740 per month in May and a subsequent decline to an average of £668 per month in June.

Advertised rents initially appeared to be climbing again in quarter two as both April and May saw a combined growth of £20 before a slight downturn in June levelled the figure to an average of £668 per month.

The increase in advertised rents seen in 2012 have been reversed in the North West. After six months of successive decline, average advertised rents settled at £633 per month in quarter two, 1.99% down on the first period of the year. A decline in asking rents of £11 in April followed by two months of a more level change have left the North West £12 down on quarter one. Advertised rents have risen by 3.8% since the same time in 2012 and despite the steady rate at which advertised rents have fallen this year, Move with Us predicts it is unlikely they will return to the low rates of 12 months ago during the next three months.

In Wales advertised rents fell by £20 in quarter two 2013 to an average of £636 per month. Despite this drop of 3.2%, advertised rents remain above those of last year due to a strong second half of 2012 which saw them grow by approximately £80 in six months. Advertised rents in the region have tailed off since the Christmas period and now seem to have stabilised.

North of the border, the second quarter of 2013 saw average advertising rents in Scotland remain stable reaching an average of £678. This was a 0.1% up on the last period. Advertised rents rose £30 in quarter two when compared with the same time last year.


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