Rent costs rose in January, says LSL

Lettings boards
Image caption The cost of renting has risen in the past year, according to LSL

The cost of renting a home in England and Wales increased in January, a survey has suggested.

The average rent rose by 0.1% last month from December, to £712 a month, according to LSL Property Services, which owns Your Move and Reeds Rains.

It is the first increase in January that the firm has ever seen.

Rents rose fastest in the West Midlands and South West, with the biggest declines being seen in Wales and the South East.

Rents increased 0.8% in London, with the average monthly rent in the capital now £1,032.

The cheapest average monthly rent was in the North East, at £512.

"The rental market burst back into life unseasonably early in January, with tenants on the move trying to take advantage of what is usually a quieter period for the rental market," said David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services.

"The depth of the underlying demand sustained a higher level of competition for rental property during the Christmas period, preventing more severe falls in rents than we'd normally see during the period."

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