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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Rents on the rise - it's a small increase but the first since September

Average rents are now rising on a monthly basis for the first time since September, up 0.1 per cent between January and February according to LSL letting agencies Your Move and Reeds Rains.

The average rent across England and Wales now standd at £791 per month as of February, some 3.3 per cent higher compared to this point last year.

On a regional basis, rent rises are led by the Midlands. East Midlands rent is up 7.0 per cent over the last year followed by the West Midlands with 6.3 per cent and the East of England with rents 6.2 per cent higher than in February 2015.

These three regions all stand ahead of London where rents are a more modest 4.8 per cent higher than 12 months ago. As recently as November, London consistently led the field in terms of annual rent rises.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum rents are lower than a year ago in three out of 10 regions monitored by the agencies. 

In the North East the average rent is now 2.5 per cent lower than in February 2015, followed by Wales with rents down 1.5 per cent and the South East with a marginal 0.1 per cent annual drop.

The gross yield on a typical rental property in England and Wales (before taking into account factors such as void periods) is steady at 4.8 per cent in February, the same as the previous month. On an annual basis, this is fractionally lower than the 5.0 per cent gross yield seen a year ago in February 2015.

Taking into account both rental income and capital growth, the average landlord in England and Wales has seen total returns of 12.7 per cent over the 12 months to February. 

In absolute terms this means that the average landlord has seen a return of £23,227 before deductions. Of this, the average capital gain contributed £14,767 while rental income made up £8,460.

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    Here is as John Cleese put it a 'statement of the bleeding obvious'. Rents and property prices always rise in January to April - always have done and always will.

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