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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Rents: Wide variations between regions but small rises in most areas

The latest Your Move lettings index for England and Wales shows the average rent stagnating - rising just 0.5 per cent in a year and now hitting an average of £861 per calendar month.

The average does hide some regional variations, however.

The West Midlands overtook the South West as the fastest growing area over the pasty month; the typical rent in the region increased by 4.0 per cent in the year to April, reaching an average of £641. 

This was ahead of the South West, which had growth of 3.7 per cent in the same period to hit £701. 

Yorkshire and the Humber (up 2.5 per cent), the North West (2.3 per cent) and the East Midlands (2.2 per cent) were the other regions which saw rents grow strongly on an annual basis. 

At the other end of the scale, prices declined in two of the remaining regions. London was one of those to see a fall. Prices in the capital dropped by 1.1 per cent but it remains the most expensive place to rent in the country, with the typical property let for £1,262 per month. 

However, the bigger fall was found in the East of England. Rents declined by 2.2 per cent in the last year, now standing at £874 per calendar month. 

On a monthly basis, the East of England and the North East both saw rents fall by 0.1 per cent - the only two areas to see rents fall in recent weeks. The North East remains the cheapest place to rent, with an average monthly charge of £538, while the average price in the East of England is £874. 

Buy to let investors saw their returns remain stable between March and April, ending the recent squeeze on landlord returns according to these Your Move stats.

The agency found that properties in every region of England and  Wales offered the same returns this month as they did in the previous survey and once again northern regions offered the highest percentage yields. 

For example, properties in the North East typically returned 5.0 per cent to investors while that figure was 4.8 per cent in the North West. 

This contrasts with an average yield of 3.2 per cent in London and 3.3 per cent in both the South East and South West. 

The average yield across all of England and Wales was 4.3 per cent, the same as March’s figure but slightly down compared to the 4.4 per cent recorded a year ago. 

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