London experiences lowest annual rental growth in over 7 years….
Official figures suggest the rental market remains subdued at the start of the year, whilst regional differences in performance persist.
In the 12 months to February 2018 rents in England increased by 1.1%, which remains unchanged on January, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.
This rises to 1.6% if London is excluded, where rents increased slightly by 0.1%; the lowest annual growth in the capital since September 2010.
The strongest rental growth was recorded in the East Midlands (2.5%), followed by the East of England and South West (2.1%), and the West Midlands and South East (1.7%), with above-average increases also reported in Wales (1.4%).
Kate Davies, executive director at The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, believes the ONS figures demonstrate the burdens buy-to-let landlords are having to face, saying:
“Whilst [the data] may be giving tenants some temporary respite from higher rents, the flip-side is that landlords will be facing downward pressure on their cash-flows and profitability. This comes at a time when successive policy changes in the buy-to-let sector have proved detrimental.
“We therefore ask the Government to recognise the benefits that a strong private rented sector brings for the UK, and the importance of maintaining a good supply of rental properties for the periods when home ownership is not suitable or achievable for households.”