ONS: Rental prices hit an all-time high

Rents have increased to their highest level on record, according to the latest price index from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). 

The latest report shows that the average monthly rent recorded between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 was £700 for England. 

The highest monthly rent was for properties with four or more bedrooms, at an average of £1,300 per calendar month (pcm), compared with the lowest monthly rent at £400, which was for single rooms.

There was a large difference in average monthly rents between studios (£550) and single rooms (£400), which could have been driven by high volumes of data in the sample of studios located in London and the South East representing just under half of the sample size.

London had the highest median monthly rent at £1,425, which is more than double the average monthly rent for England.

The North East had the lowest median monthly rent at £495.

The difference in monthly rental price between the most and least expensive local authorities was almost £2,100.

Matthew Hooker, co-founder of rental deposit replacement, Ome, said: “Rental affordability remains a burning issue and one that will continue to plague the market having been greatly exacerbated by the arrival of COVID-19.

“We’ve seen tenants across the UK squeezed in recent years where the cost of living is concerned as wage growth has failed to keep pace with ever-increasing rental costs.

“However, this will have become a much bigger issue for those that now find themselves on restricted income or recently unemployed, with the cost of renting now hitting an all-time high.

“The extended eviction ban will do little to comfort those with an eye on their long-term future within the rental sector. It is likely we will see a lengthy backlog of evictions over the coming months as more and more tenants struggle financially. 

“While tough, the best advice for tenants currently is to reduce their outgoings where possible, continue to maintain rental payments where they can and keep communication frequent and open with their landlord.” 

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