Rising Rental Rates in the UK: A Closer Look at the North West and Nationwide Trends

May 24, 2024

In the UK rental market, rates have risen consistently, marking an 8.5% increase over the past year. This trend continues as the average rent across the UK now stands at £1,291 per month. In the North West, renters are seeing a significant uptick, with average rents jumping 9.9% to £1,127 monthly.

Finding Your Next Home in the North West with Farrell Heyworth

For those seeking properties in the North West, partnering with a seasoned agency like Farrell Heyworth can provide a substantial advantage. Covering key areas such as Preston, Morecambe, Blackpool, and Lancaster, we offer extensive local expertise, ensuring you find the best rental options in these high-demand locations.

Despite a surge in availability - a welcome 11% increase in available rental properties in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023 - the market remains tight. There has been a 17% decrease in the number of tenants looking for homes, slightly easing competition, yet the balance is far from restored to pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, 54% fewer people were seeking rentals, underscoring today's high demand.

London continues to lead with the highest rents at £2,633 per month. However, the rest of the UK isn't far behind in experiencing heightened rates. From Scotland and the North East, both witnessing a 9.8% increase, to the West Midlands, where rents have soared by over 10.3%, the ripple effects are felt widely.

Insights from Rightmove Property Expert Tim Bannister

Tim Bannister, a seasoned property expert at Rightmove, points out, "Even with some improvements to the number of rental homes available to rent, we're still nearly 50,000 properties behind the pre-pandemic market, which is a stark reminder that we need more good quality rental homes, and we need to encourage investment from landlords to provide them. The rental market is no longer at peak boiling point, but it remains at a very hot simmer. Looking at across the whole market, we can see some slow improvements for tenants, with more choice available, and competition with other tenants is slowly starting to ease. However, tenants may not feel the benefit of some of these improvements in their local market, as the balance between supply and demand remains so far from pre-pandemic levels."

Affordable Renting Options

Interestingly, while the national average continues to climb, there are still cities where affordability is better. Carlisle, Hull, and Sunderland offer the most economical options, with rents for smaller properties like two bedrooms or less averaging below £650 per month.

Strategies for Renting in a Competitive Market

  1. Act Quickly: Set up instant property alerts and connect with local estate agents to stay ahead of new listings.
  2. Define Your Essentials: Know your budget and essential requirements to streamline your search process.
  3. Flexibility Can Benefit: Adjusting move-in dates can make your application more appealing.
  4. Stay Organised: Have all necessary documents and finances prepared for a smooth application process.
  5. Broaden Your Horizons: Expanding your search beyond popular areas might reveal more options and better prices.

With more properties entering the market, renters may soon feel relieved. However, the enduring challenge of aligning supply with the increased post-pandemic demand continues to push rents upward across the UK, particularly in bustling regions like the North West.

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