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Lettings chief says market isn’t working “for anyone”

Rents continue to soar across the UK according to data released by flatshare website SpareRoom. 

It says average UK room rents were up by 17 per cent in the second quarter of 2023 compared to Q2 2022, passing £700 per month for the first time on record. 

Average room rents rose by 10 per cent or more in every UK region, every London region and in almost every one of the UK’s 50 biggest towns and cities, compared to Q2 2022. 


The largest regional increases were seen in Northern Ireland (up 20 per cent), closely followed by London and Scotland, both up 19 per cent year-on-year.

Room rents in the Capital have skyrocketed to an average of £971, with increases across all London regions and every London postcode.

The biggest increases by London region were seen in East Central (up 24 per cent) and North London (up 21 per cent), whilst the London postcodes with the largest increases were E16 (Canning Town/North Woolwich/Royal Docks), N7 (Holloway) and W7 (Hanwell), up 31, 30 and 29 per cent respectively.

There’s now not a single area of London with average rents below £700. The cheapest areas of the Capital are E12 (Manor Park) £714, SE28 (Thamesmead) £741 and E7 (Forest Gate) £753.

Rents increased annually in all the UK’s 50 largest cities and towns with Edinburgh (up 25 per cent), Middlesborough (up 21 per cent) and Manchester (up 20 per cent) seeing the heftiest rises. 

Unsurprisingly, the most expensive areas to rent a room outside of London in Q2 2023 weren’t far from the capital, with Kingston-Upon-Thames coming out on top at £881, followed by Twickenham (£856) and Barnet (£812). Conversely, the cheapest areas were Huddersfield (£441), Burnley (£443) and Scunthorpe (£449).

Matt Hutchinson, SpareRoom director comments: “The housing market simply isn’t working for anyone. Renters and homeowners are struggling and landlords are continuing to leave the market. 

“However, although London rents remain sky high, there is a glimmer of hope as they fell slightly in June. Although this is a very marginal change, it’s the first time rents have decreased in the capital in over a year, which is a positive sign.  

“Nevertheless, for many people housing will be the key issue for the next general election, so we need to hear something positive and practical from all parties in the coming months. Sticking plaster policies aren’t enough - we need real commitment to fixing this housing crisis “

  • Lenny White

    And when the buy to lets start selling up following their mortgage renewals, we're going to see further shortage of stock and rents will continue to sky rocket. May be in 12-18 months' time, once the sales market has corrected itself, the government will remove the 3% SDT to incentivise new investors.

    There's no short term solution. This is the tragedy with our political leaders. The evolvement of Westminster's processes and procedures has lent itself to no minister sitting in a role for more than 18 months and results in short term ambitions = zero effectiveness, and frankly zero confidence from me


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