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Tiny but symbolic fall in rents recorded late this year, says lender

Rents across the UK began to shrink for the first time in over half a decade toward the end of 2017, as a two-speed market emerged between London and much of the rest of the UK according to buy to let lender Landbay. 

The average rent paid for a UK property has grown by 0.53 per cent so far in 2017 with falling rents in London (down 0.83 per cent over the year to date) weighing down otherwise resilient rental growth elsewhere (up 1.27 per cent).

However, UK-wide rents fell by 0.01 per cent in November - the first time rental growth has entered negative territory in at least half a decade. 

The average UK rent has now plateaued at a record £1,196 per month, up from £1,190 at the turn of year. Removing London from the equation puts average rents at £759, up from £750 at the turn of the year, an extra £9 per calendar month or £109 per year.

The slowdown in rental growth has not been consistent across the country. The East Midlands (up 2.13 per cent), South West (up 1.63 per cent) and East England (up 1.57 per cent) experienced substantial growth in 2017 and are expected to climb further as we head into 2018. 

The North East has also seen rents grow at a faster rate in 2017 than at any other time in the past five years (up 0.65 per cent).

It is London that has seen the greatest reversal of rental growth, with November marking 18 months since rents in the capital first entered negative territory. 

The capital continues to be the main source of the UK’s slowdown, with rents falling in 26 of the 33 London boroughs. Even so London rents remain, on average, 2.5 times greater than those across the rest of the UK (£1,871 vs £759).

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