Rents across the UK continued to rise during June, but the first half of 2016 has been characterised by a slowing in the pace of rental increases according to HomeLet - with the Brexit effect still difficult to anticipate.
The figures, which HomeLet describe as “the most comprehensive data available on the UK’s private rental market”, shows that rents agreed on new tenancies across the UK excluding London over the three months to the end of June were up by 3.5 per cent, compared to the same period in 2015.
In the capital, meanwhile, rents were 3.9 per cent higher.
There were rent rises reported in 10 of the 12 regions covered by HomeLet’s data.
By contrast, the UK-wide figure for May was 4.4 per cent (6.2 per cent in London).
The more modest rental increases seen in June are a continuation of a trend that has developed throughout the first half of the year, with rents rising across much of the UK each month, but at a slower pace than was the case throughout most of 2015; last June, rents were rising at an annual rate of 7.8 per cent (10.1 per cent in London).
HomeLet says the outlook for the sector depends in part on the fall-out from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
“Some economists expect the referendum result to act as a brake on construction in the housing sector, which could exacerbate the current imbalance between demand and supply in the rental market. It is also possible that demand may increase as would-be house buyers opt to wait and see how house prices are affected over the next 12 months and beyond” says HomeLet.
HomeLet’s data also suggests that the average length of a tenancy – as measured by how long tenants had occupied their previous rental property – has begun to come down over the past three months.