UK rents 'rise by 2% in a year'

Letting signs The proportion of tenants in arrears has fallen, LSL says

The cost of renting a home has risen by 2% in the last year, with increases seen across nearly every region of the UK, a survey has suggested.

The average cost of renting a home stood at £753 a month, according to LSL Property Services.

This was up from £738 a month in July last year and was the highest level seen since November.

But official figures for the second quarter of the year showed a 1% annual rise in the UK.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said last month that private rental prices grew by 1% in England, 1.1% in Scotland and 0.2% in Wales in the 12 months to the end of June.

'Busy period'

The latest survey from LSL, which owns agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, is based on their own data.

The survey suggested that rents rose year-on-year across the UK, except in the North East of England, where there was a fall of 3.8%. The biggest rise was in the South East of England, where it rose by 3.8%.

It found that the average rent had risen by 0.8% compared with the previous month.

"As the summer turns to early autumn, the rental market is approaching its busiest period - yet rent rises remain modest," said David Newnes, of LSL.

The proportion of tenants in arrears on rent payments fell slightly, LSL said.

A separate study by the Resolution Foundation, a not-for-profit research and policy organisation, suggested that 1.6 million households spent more than half of their disposable income on rent or mortgage payments.

These so-called "pinched" households were more likely to rent privately, be young, live alone, live in one-bedroom properties, have recently moved and live in London, it suggested.

"It is vital that more money is invested in the supply of new housing in order to drive down costs, otherwise we can expect to see a steady rise in the number of households that are 'housing pinched' over the coming years," said Laura Gardiner, analyst at the Resolution Foundation.

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