Home rental costs 'continue to rise'

Monopoly house on cash Demand for rooms to rent is growing, according to the industry

Frustrated buyers are continuing to push up the price of renting a property in the UK, according to a survey.

The average cost rose for the ninth consecutive month to £691 a month in October, according to LSL Property Services.

The price is rising as potential first-time buyers struggle to get a mortgage and so continue to rent.

A separate survey from Spareroom.co.uk suggested that seven people were chasing every room for rent.

The house sharing website said this was the highest level of demand since it launched six years ago.

Lettings

The survey by LSL found that the average rent was 0.4% higher in October than the previous month, and 4.5% higher than in October last year.

High demand was also being driven by potential buyers waiting as they expected house prices to continue to fall.

Landlords were also unable to extend the supply of rental properties because the mortgage drought was making it difficult for them to extend their property portfolios.

"Rents have been creeping upwards, month in, month out for the last year, and now stand just a few pounds shy of £700 per month," said LSL's estate agency managing director David Newnes.

"The recent increases are likely to steady slightly in run up to Christmas - traditionally a slower time for the market. But a strong underlying growth will remain, as the key market dynamics are geared towards further rises."

Rent rises were strongest in the South East of England, but the average rent fell slightly in Yorkshire and the Humber in October.

Read a selection of your comments below

As a renter struggling to get on to the property ladder, it seems to me that the rise of "buy to let" mortgages prices first-time buyers out of the market. As there is a housing shortage in some parts of the country, I believe that there should be a tax on multiple home ownership. That is, any organisation or individual who is in possession of more than one property should be paying an additional tax. This would make it less financially viable to take properties off the market and into the rental market.

Frankie Fisher, Manchester

I'm a landlord with property in Leeds West Yorkshire. I moved to London for work in 2010 and rent in the capital. The rental market comparison between the two cities are worlds apart. My properties in Leeds are spacious and refurbished to a very high standard but due to the recession and lack of people moving to the city the rental market is tough simply because the influx of people coming to the city is not enough. London is a different story. It took me months to find a place and depending on where you want to live it can be expensive.

Mark Shearer , Leeds and London

I am a landlord and I find this rent increase every month very unfair for tenants, it's just plain greed by some landlords. People's financial situations are stretched at present and it just seems to me that some landlords take advantage of the current situation and use supply and demand as an excuse. We are very good at ripping each other off in the UK. The problem is that if it continues we will never see the housing market bounce back AS people only have so much money to live on.

Keith, Wales

We own an apartment in Nottingham. Fiver years ago this commanded a monthly rent of £650, while, today, it is let for £595 per month. This seems to confirm the experience of Mark Shearer of Leeds and others. There is clearly a two tier market: a strong one in London and the South but a relatively weak one in the North and the Midlands. The same is true of the selling market. Our apartment was bought for £135,000 while today it is worth £100,000 to £110,000!

Alistair Lang, Nottingham

I rent (paying over half my income) but find the ever increasing prices close to impossible to keep up. I've been renting now for 20 years, it's always suited me but now feel price hikes are unfair as I feel I'm paying for others greed. A solution would be to put a cap on rent.

Henry Flint, Exeter

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