Rental Averages Throughout 2012

publication date: Feb 18, 2013
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Rental Averages Throughout 2012

Looking back over the rental averages for the UK during 2012 (see chart below), the year started with rents ranging from £685 (Belvoir), through to Homelet’s £736. According to Homelet, during 2012 rents peaked in September at £808, with LSL recording a peak of £744 in October and Belvoir registering both February and March as their highest average rents at £687. However, Belvoir’s rental indices indicates very little change in the month on month rental averages throughout the whole of 2012, with the end of year average being pretty much the same as the start of 2012 at £684. LSL’s rental figures for the whole year range from £705 through to £744, with the year ending on £734 being an increase of only £22 from January, a rise of 3%, in line with inflation. Homelet on the other hand, record the highest monthly rents of the three indices, averaging between £736 and £808, finishing the year at £782, which is a 6% increase over January’s average rent of £736.

Rental Indices

* Belvoir index tracks slightly lower than other rental indices as it includes Scotland, and has few London based agents

National Picture v’s Regionally

Regions – England & Wales and Scotland

The chart below shows the different performance of rental figures for December 2012 versus December 2011 for each region. This helps landlords work out if they are maximising rental income or may need to make their rents more competitive if the property needs re-letting in 2013. 

National Picture vs Regionally

The regional indices summary shows:-

  • Belvoir show a slight fall in Scottish rents while Homelet suggest a rise of 2.3%, however this may be due to Homelet covering higher rising rents in Edinburgh rather than the regions which Belvoir covers.
  • LSL and Homelet are registering slight decreases in average rents for the East Midlands (-1.3% and -0.5%) and for Wales, (-0.7% and a slightly higher fall of -2.8%) respectively. Belvoir’s data suggests areas such as Cardiff have increased slightly year on year, but the rents in areas such as Wrexham and Swansea are stable. However Belvoir shows the East Midlands has seen a small rise of 2% as opposed to a fall.
  • The three rental indices recorded similar increases across Greater London of 5-7% which is about double inflation.
  • Belvoir has recorded the highest percentage rise of 10% year on year for the South West at just over 10%, however this is likely to be influenced by new office openings, so the average increase of around 2% shown by Homelet  and LSL suggests rents have risen just in line with inflation.
  • All three rental indices show year on year increases in the North West between 2-4%. Belvoir had the highest increase of 4% and LSL and Homelet recorded increases of just under 2%.
  • According to LSL and Belvoir the South East has experienced similar increases of 4-6% respectively, with Homelet only registering a slight increase.
  • The West Midlands suggests falls of 1.3% (Belvoir) to -0.5% (LSL) while Homelet suggests an increase of 3.7%, suggesting in the main, West Midlands rents were static to falling throughout 2012.
  • The data for Yorkshire and The Humber doesn’t tally however, with LSL showing a fall while Belvoir suggests rents are static and Homelet a rise of 4.3%. This could be due to measuring different areas, so it’s likely rents have, on average, been static over the year.
  • East Anglia rents for Belvoir and LSL suggest rents are static or show small rises up to 2%. Homelet rents show an 8.6% rise, but this is completely uncharacteristic for the area based on feedback from agents, so we would treat this as a statistical anomaly. 

From a landlord and tenant perspective, although the indices tend to show similar movements in rents, it is vital that rental trends are sought at a local postcode level from a lettings specialist such as Belvoir

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