The rise in London rental prices is slowing down.
In a bit of good news for tenants and bad news for private landlords, figures from the Office for National Statistics show that rents in London are now rising slower than the average for the rest of England.
In the 12 month to the March this year rents in the capital had gone up by 1.6% compared to 2.4% across the rest of England, according to data from the ONS Index of Private Housing Rental Prices. This is in line with a trend in the year-on-year figures since November last year when London slipped behind average rise for the rest of country.
Before August 2015, London rental prices were rising much faster than elsewhere.
A regional breakdown of the data shows that the 1.6% rate of increase in London is the same as Yorkshire and Humberside. Rents in five other regions of the England are now climbing faster than the capital. This includes the East and West Midlands, East of England, the South West and the South East. The increase in the South East over the period was 3.4%.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) says that the demand for rental property across the country remains steady but the number of new landlords instructing letting agents is down for the sixth month in a row. This may increase pressure on prices, but RICS says that London is the exception to this. In its most recent monthly survey of the residential property market it says that rents will continue to ‘soften’ in coming months and then remain broadly static for the year ahead.
While that may be a welcome forecast for more than a quarter of Londoners who rent their homes from private landlords, the amount they pay each month is still more than double the average for the rest of the UK.