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Rents outside London are currently rising by 5% year on year, their highest rate for over a decade, the latest Zoopla Rental Market Report has shown.

Zoopla attributed the increases to a widening imbalance between rental demand and supply which pushed rental growth to the highest level seen since 2008.

Meanwhile, in London itself rental declines have bottomed out amid rising demand, reaching -3.8% in July, from -9.8% in February.

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The average monthly rent outside London is now at £790, up from £752 in July last year.

Growth hit 10-year highs in the East Midlands (+6.8%), the North East (+6.5%), the South West (+7.6%), Wales (+6.4%) and Yorkshire & the Humber (+4.9%) in July.

Rental growth in some cities and towns rose even further, with growth in Wigan and Mansfield reaching double figures, at 10.5% and 10% respectively. Hastings, Blackburn, Barnsley and Norwich are registering growth of 9.4% or more.

In London, average rents in the 12 boroughs in inner London rose by 2.3% in the three months to July with the average rent in the capital standing at £1,593pcm.

Nigel Purves said: “This report shines a light on just how deep-rooted the UK’s property affordability crisis actually is. Despite the pandemic-induced exodus, rents in big cities continue to soar, with young professionals and divorcees leading the renewed drive for city-living.

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“But demand for gardens and more space doesn’t necessarily align with the reality of properties on offer.

“Renting can be a good option for some, but it should be just that, an option. Millions of people in the UK are stuck in properties that don’t meet their needs, especially families with young children, and key workers who are wedded to a particular area because of their jobs and support networks.

“These groups are left paying high rents on often unsuitable rental homes. And to add insult to injury, they have no security and very little freedom: they can be kicked out at nearly any time, and their landlords stop them keeping pets or even changing the paint colour on the walls.

“This continued pressure on saving combined with the unfair mortgage lending criteria means that even if they can afford a deposit and mortgage-level monthly rents, these reluctant renters are unable to take their first step onto the property ladder.

“It’s vital the government treats this issue as urgent – if it truly hopes to turn ‘Generation Rent’ into ‘Generation Buy’, it must work together with the property industry to innovate and provide alternative routes to homeownership.”

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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