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Cities Are Back! Urban rents soaring according to latest index

Tenants returning to the office and city centres has triggered strong rental growth in the largest urban centres.

Rightmove’s Quarterly Rental Trends Tracker reveals that some city centres have not only bounced back from the declines recorded since the pandemic started, but have hit double digit growth and outpace the national average.

Across Britain, rents are rising at the fastest rate ever recorded by Rightmove, now up 8.6 per cent annually outside London, and the capital is finally showing signs of growth, with rents up by 2.7 per cent on a year ago. 


Some of the examples Rightmove quotes include Birmingham city centre where rents fell by five per cent between February 2020 and February 2021, but by September this year the increased demand helped them to grow to 10 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels. It is a similar picture in Nottingham city centre where rents fell two per cent, and have now grown to 11 per cent higher than before the pandemic.

Total British rental demand is now up by 39 per cent compared with the same time in 2019, and up by 11 per cent compared with a strong September last year.

This demand has led to properties being snapped up at the quickest rate ever recorded, at 17 days.

The speed and strength of demand in the market has pushed rents up to 8.6 per cent outside London, and they are up over 10 per cent in the North West, North East, the East Midlands and Wales.

The available stock shortage is most pronounced in suburban and rural areas, which has led to a shift in the make-up of total available properties on Rightmove. 


Of all the available rental properties on the portal, 64 per cent of them are now in urban locations, a jump up from 48 per cent pre-pandemic.

The proportion of available properties that are in the suburbs has dropped from 46 to 33 per cent, while rural areas have declined from six to three per cent.


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