London home rentals up at a historic pace to PS2,000 monthly

The cost of home rentals in London rose at an unprecedented rate in February, adding nearly PS200 (S$342) to each month’s rent, according to official figures.

Office for National Statistics (ONS), on Wednesday (20 March), reported that private rents increased 10.6 percent from the previous year in February. Brent experienced the biggest increase out of all the local areas in Britain.

OnS began collecting data in January. London’s average monthly rent for tenants is over PS2,000. The increase was higher than the 9 per-cent rise in rents across all of Britain, which was also the fastest ever.

These figures indicate that tenants are still struggling to pay their rent, even as the overall cost-of-living situation begins to improve. It will likely undermine the limited support of younger generations for the Conservative government of Prime Minister Rishi Sunderk ahead a general elections expected later this summer.

Renters have been hit particularly hard in the capital where limited supplies are not keeping up with demand. Centre for Cities’ research released earlier this month showed that London’s population bounced back from a so called “race for room” which caused people to move out of urban areas.

UK brokerage firm said that this level is not sustainable. It hinders first time buyers who are trying to get onto the housing ladder. The government has abandoned many first-time homeowners while simultaneously putting pressure on landlords. This leads to a fear among renters that things will get worse for them.

OnS has released the first set of updated rental statistics that focused on local trends. Brent rents increased 20 per cent in the month of February. Islington Greenwich Sutton Westminster, and Westminster, were among London’s boroughs that saw double-digit increase.

Brent saw the largest annual rental increase of any local area, Melton had the lowest. Kensington & Chelsea ranked highest for rental price and Dumfries & Galloway ranked lowest.

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According to the report, house prices fell by only 0.6 percent to PS282,000 in the twelve months ending January. This was the smallest fall for the year since August. Prices were up by 0.5% in comparison to December.

The figures confirmed data more timely from lenders Nationwide Building Society & Halifax that showed rising prices as activity in housing market began to thaw.

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