It's one of the most popular questions being asked by landlords new to the rental sector and that is ‘Where are the best areas for rent?’ - and now one firm has revealed what the answers are.
The data comes from reference processing firm HomeLet who say that rents in Leicester last year rose by 45%, in Southall they increased by 38% and in Cambridge the rise was 24%.
However, the areas that saw the biggest falls in rents on new tenancies were in Colchester, where rents fell by 24%, Croydon where the figure was 23% and in Brighton where rents are now 18% lower.
Rents set to grow in 2015
Martin Totty, the CEO of HomeLet owner Bourbon Insurance Group, said: “Last year was one for growth in the rental sector and property prices also continued to grow.
“Demand for property to rent is increasing and we expect it to continue this year since large numbers are being priced out of buying property. This means that rental prices will continue to grow especially since real incomes are also starting to rise.”
The HomeLet Rental Index reveals that rents grew by 6.6% on average around the country. The figures also revealed that the average rent being paid on rental properties is now £867, from £874 in November.
Building boom sees rents fall
The data also highlights the fact that there are now large differences between towns and cities in terms of rental market performance.
For instance, in Cambridge and Leicester the demand from tenants for property is currently outstripping supply whereas in Croydon and parts of Essex a property building boom has led to a drop in rental prices because demand is falling.
From their figures, rents paid in the UK last August were an average of £921 and have now fallen by 5% with East Anglia recording the biggest drop to £726 from £748.
HomeLet says that the rent drop in December is a seasonal issue but they believe that rents will rise throughout 2015.
Banks don't offer enough support - landlords
Meanwhile, buy to let mortgage lenders have been criticised for not offering enough support to landlords.
Just 17% of those questioned believed they were getting the support they needed and 10% of landlords said they had struggled to find a buy to let mortgage.
The findings are from PropertyLetByUs who also found that 87% of landlords thought the fees for buy to let mortgages are too high and that 13% believe that interest rates on property investment finance is reasonable.
The firm says that mortgage lenders should do more in reassuring landlords that they believe in the sector.
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