Average rental prices rose significantly in the last quarter of last year, reaching 9.9% annual growth outside London, according to Rightmove.
This brings the average rent bill to £1,068 across most of the UK.
In the capital, average rents have risen by 10.9% over the same period, leaving the average rental cost per month at £2,142. This is 3% more than at the start of 2020.
And in central London in particular, an annual increase of 16.2% has seen average rents soar to £2,577.
As with the purchase market, supply and demand are the main factor driving up rents, with total demand up 32% over the year and rental supply down 51%.
“However,” the report says, “the number of rental units available is 7% higher than in the same period in December, a sign of improved availability at the start of the year.”
Rightmove estimates that rents will increase by 5% throughout 2022.
Director of Real Estate Data, Tim Bannister, explains: “Tenant demand continues to be very high at the start of the new year, which means that the imbalance between supply and demand is likely to continue until more choices present themselves in the market.
“Landlords understand the importance of having a good long-term tenant, and there’s a limit to what tenants can afford to pay, which will prevent rents from rising at the same rate we’ve seen in the past. over the past year.”
And speaking of London, Chesterton rental manager Richard Davies said: “Many tenants have been able to secure a better priced rental home during the pandemic and want to hold on to a good deal for as long as possible.
“With fewer tenants willing to move out, the number of properties returning to the rental market, particularly at the more affordable end of the market, will also decline.
“So tenants looking to move this year may need to be prepared to compromise or consider less central areas to secure a suitable property within their budget.”