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Official figures show rents now 2.6% higher than a year ago

The average rent paid by private tenants across Great Britain increased by 2.6% in the twelve months to April 2016, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

English rents increased the most during this period (2.8%), followed by Scotland (0.5%) and Wales (0.2%).

The ONS' report shows that average private rents have been steadily increasing since 2011, with England again recording the highest growth. 

Average rents in England increased between January 2005 and February 2009, fell between July 2009 and February 2010 and have been increasing since May 2010.

In the twelve months to April 2016, private rental prices increased in each of the nine English regions.

The largest annual rental price increases were in London (3.7%), followed by the South East (3.1%) and the East of England (3.0%).

The ONS says annual price increases have been stronger in London than the rest of England since November 2010.  

In the year to April, the lowest annual rental price increases were in the North East (0.8%) and the North West (1.1%), followed by Yorkshire and The Humber (1.3%).

"Ironically, the government’s efforts to help first-time buyers by penalising investors, could end up hindering them as a shortage of rental properties will drive up rents in the long term, making it more difficult to save up for a deposit,” commented Paul Smith, chief executive of haart estate agents.

Last week Your Move and Reeds Rains reported that average rents are now increasing at the fastest rate since last autumn.

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