A new analysis of rental date shows that rents have fallen across the UK by an average of 2.4% since the start of the credit crunch in 2008.
Belvoir Lettings, which has published the data, said it gives a much more accurate view of the national UK rental market than reports concentrating on the hype in London and the South-East.
Belvoir CEO Dorian Gonsalves commissioned an independent analyst, Kate Faulkner, to study advertised rents going back almost five years in Belvoir offices across the UK.
Gonsalves said: “The Belvoir five-year rental index, which analyses advertised rents on a simple three-month average, is an important and definitive study, which crucially and unlike many other studies has been tracking data since March 2008 – six months after the credit crunch started.
“We have also been able to track rental figures from 139 offices across the UK, and break our analysis down into national, regional and county levels.
“This rental index report is very much aimed at helping landlords and tenants understand the rental market and how it is currently operating right across the UK rather than in pockets of London and the south east.
“We also hope that the Belvoir rental index, which will be released on a monthly basis during 2013, will assist government bodies in understanding the market and enable them to incorporate this information into their policy and decision-making processes.
“Every few months we read media reports of rising rents in different parts of the country, which can raise expectations and be very confusing for those investment landlords whose rents have shown little or no increase since the credit crunch began.
“Our figures confirm that the rental market is still very much on the road to recovery, with UK rents down by around 2.4% compared to the heights of five years ago.
“However, it also shows that the rental market is working well, with rents keeping in line with affordability.
“Landlords should be aware of how their rental income is tracking versus rents at a local level and whether they are keeping up with inflation. It is important to secure the right balance between investing money to keep properties well maintained and minimise voids, but to also be aware of relevant local market factors and know when to increase rents so that they are in line with inflation.”
The report shows that in 2008, rents of £705 per month were being achieved. During 2012 average monthly UK rents were £682. If rents had risen in line with inflation since 2008, tenants would be paying £113 more per month.
Welsh average rents have remained stable in the past 12 months at around £600 per month. Areas yet to recover to September 2008 levels by September 2012 include the East Midlands, East Anglia, the North-West and Yorkshire
Areas stabilising around 2008 levels include West Midlands and Scotland
Areas where rents have recovered to 2008 levels and are rising include the South-West, South-East, North-East and London.
The full report can be found online: