January busier than normal for rental market

Rents rose in January, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services plc.

Las month, the average rent in England and Wales increased by 0.1% to £712 per month, the first time since LSL began compiling the index that rents have risen on a monthly basis in January, and the first monthly rise in three months. As a result, annual rental inflation increased to 4.3% from 4% in December, representing £30 rise in the average monthly rent by in the past year.

Rents rose the fastest on a monthly basis in the West Midlands and South West, where they increased by 1.8% and 1.5% respectively. Rents rose by 0.8% in London, where they have only fallen once in the past 13 months. However, rents fell in four regions. The biggest declines were in the East of England and Wales, where they fell by 1.7% and 1.5%.

In the last 12 months rents have risen in all regions of England and Wales but one. The largest annual increases were in London where rents rose by 6.3%. The next biggest increase was in the East of England where rents rose by 5.9%. Rents fell in the North East by 0.7%, although the rate of annual decline slowed from 1.3% in December.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “The rental market burst back into life unseasonably early in January