The average rent in the UK, measured just before the turn of the year, is £979, showing a 2.7 per cent increase on December 2019.
When London is excluded, the average rent in the UK is now £838, showing an increase of 5.7 per cent on last year.
The single largest regional increase in the past 12 months has been the south west of England - up 10.0 per cent - while rents in London have continued to fall, by another 4.5 per cent on average in the past year.
In December 2020, the average rental value in London (£1,576) was 86 per cent higher than the rest of the UK, excluding London (£838).
All these figures come from insurance firm HomeLet.
Its chief executive, Andy Halstead, says: “At a national level the latest data shows a continuation of the trends we’ve seen emerging since the [spring 2020] national lockdown ended, with rents for new tenancies increasing across the UK, with the exception of London.
“In the regions surrounding London, the annualised variations in rental values for new tenancies looks significant, especially in the South West (10.0 per cent), East of England (7.7 per cent) and South East (6.1 per cent). In reality this is a theme that we’ve seen grow gradually month on month, since July 2020.
“In the South West average rents are now £83 per month higher than the same time last year. The upward pressure on the regions around the capital, particularly commuter towns, is coming from a broad range of tenants looking for more space, both inside and outside the property. The trends we’ve seen in the past 12 months highlight the responsiveness of the private rented sector, and the crucial role it plays in supporting the changing needs of a significant proportion of households in the UK.”
The trends reported by HomeLet are from data on actual achieved rental values for just-agreed tenancies arranged in the most recent period.