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Landmark moment as average rents fall for first time in eight years

Average UK rents fell in May, according to the latest HomeLet Rental Index.

The figures show that the average UK rent on a new tenancy last month was £901, 0.3% lower than the figure for May 2016. 

HomeLet says the pace of rental inflation across the UK has been slowing in 2017, after peaking at 4.7% last summer.

Last month the firm reported that average London rents fell for the first time in almost eight years during April.

And the situation in the capital did not improve during May. The average rent on a new tenancy in London was £1,502, 3% lower than the same month last year and 1.1% lower than in April 2017.

Average rents on new tenancies also fell on an annual basis in the North East, Scotland, South East and Yorkshire and Humberside.


"Landlords are now facing a difficult balancing act between ensuring rents are affordable for tenants in a low real wage growth environment whilst covering their own rising costs," says HomeLet chief executive Martin Totty.

"Any constraint to the supply of rental properties, because landlords are unable to achieve the reasonable returns they require, cannot be in the long term best interests of tenants, especially if, as we’ve now heard from all the main political parties, the UK’s population continues to grow.”

HomeLet's figures for May are reproduced in full below:


Average rent in May 2017

Average rent in April 2017

Average rent in May 2016

Monthly variation

Annual variation

East Midlands






North West






South West












East of England






Northern Ireland






West Midlands






Yorkshire & Humberside






South East












North East






Greater London












UK excluding Greater London







Based on new tenancies in May 2017

Based on new tenancies in April 2017

Based on new tenancies in May 2016

Comparison of average rent in May 2017 and April 2017

Comparison of average rent in May 2017 and May 2016

*Graham Norwood is on annual leave until June 19. Conor Shilling will be undertaking editorial duties in his absence. Please send any press enquiries to press@lettingagenttoday.co.uk

  • Mark Wilson

    This story is the tip of the ice berg. I know first hand Central London rents have been falling over the past year, which is why all the scare mongering articles on rent increasing due to the removal of tax relief were so obviously misplaced.

  • icon

    I read yesterday that average rents in Scotland are up 6% from last year and today they are down 1.6%.


    So which figure is correct?


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