Inflation may have dipped into minus figures, but rents have leapt by an average of between 6.3% and 8.5% over the past year, according to two reports, highlighting the dramatic extent to which the cost of a place to live has uncoupled from the cost of living.
The average rent paid by private tenants in England and Wales reached a record high of £816 per month in September, compared with £768 a year earlier, said letting agents Your Move and Reeds Rains.
Another study by the lettings insurance company HomeLet said the average UK rent had increased by £78 in a year to just a few pounds shy of £1,000. A third, by the insurer Direct Line for Business, claimed three areas of the country – Manchester, Newcastle and the London borough of Westminster – notched up average rent increases of more than 20% in 2014.
Official figures issued on Tuesday showing UK house prices surged to a record peak of £284,000 on average in August.
Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “It’s time for George Osborne to give back hope to ordinary families who are priced out and losing out by investing in the genuinely affordable homes we need, for renting or buying, in the upcoming spending review.”