The high cost of living (in the UK)


Rents in the UK increased by 2.5% in the 12 months to January 2019, taking the average to £932, with only the North East seeing a fall, the latest rental index shows.

Growth was led by the South West and Greater London. Rents increased by 5.1% year on year in the South West to an average of £859 and also increased by 3.1% month on month.

London recorded annual growth of 3.7% to £1,588 but rents fell by 0.5% month on month and when London is excluded then annual growth was 2% to an average of £755, the data from tenant referencing firm HomeLet also shows.

The slowest growth has been in Scotland and the East of England, both up 0.3% year on year. This took the average in Scotland to £627 and rents also increased 0.6% on a monthly basis. In the East of England at £909, rents also increased month on month, up by 1.6%.

In Wales the market was also subdued, with rents up year on year by 0.5% to an average of £606 and they increased month on month by 1.8%.

There was reasonably strong growth in rents in Northern Ireland, up by 3.2% year on year to an average of £644 and month on month they increased by 1.9% while in the North West rents increased by 2.9% year on year and 0.7% month on month to £703.

In the West Midlands rents increased by 2.8% year on year and 0.6% month on month to £693 while in the South East they were up by 2.7% on an annual basis and 2.4% month on month to £1,022.

Yorkshire and Humberside saw an annual rise of 2.1% and rents increased 1.9% month on month to £636, in the East Midlands they were up 1.1% year on year but fell month on month by 0.8% to £624. The North East saw rents fall 0.6% month on month to £534 but rebounded month on month by 2.7%.

Some parts of London saw rents rise significantly, led by Westminster with an annual rise of 9.7% to £2,356, followed by a rise of 9.5% in Haringey and Islington, an 8.5% rise in Chelsea, Fulham, Hammersmith and Kensington, and an 8.2% rise in Wandsworth, Hackney and Newham.

However, in Camden and the City of London rents fell year on year by 12.3% while in Croydon they were down by 5.6%, in Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames they fell by 2.1% and in Tower Hamlets they fell by 1.3%.

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