Rents have flat-lined across most of the UK, as a growing number of landlords refrain from asking for rental increases, new figure suggest.
UK rents increased by only 0.02% last month, the slowest pace for over half a decade, and a fraction of the five year average growth rate of 0.14%, according to the latest Landbay Rental Index.
London was the only region where rents fell in May, down 0.12% month-on-month. In fact, rents in the capital have now fallen by almost 1% over the past year, compared to growth of 1.62% across the rest of the UK.
Overall, seven out of 12 regions monitored by Landbay ended the month with slower growth than in April as election jitters and ongoing Brexit uncertainty restrict rental demand.
John Goodall, CEO and founder of Landbay, commented: “The election is one of many external factors influencing activity in the buy to let market at the moment. Yes, uncertainty about the future of the UK will cause some people to delay a decision to move, but affordability pressures are also starting to pinch the pockets of renters across the country.
“Wage growth is now lagging behind inflation for the first time since mid-2014, and with less money to spend on such a major monthly outlay, renters will be factoring this into their tenancy decisions.
“On the supply side, a wave of new rental properties caused by last spring’s hike to stamp duty, together with falling house prices, will no doubt both be playing a small part in the ongoing softening of rental growth. Nevertheless, barring a major surprise from either the election or the Brexit negotiations, long term population and construction trends suggest that rents will soon be growing faster than inflation again.”