UK Property Investment Remains Positive
The sustained demand for property and growing rents means UK property investment 'remains positive' for investors, according to one index.
The findings from Homelet reveal that in the year to December 2018, average rents in the UK grew by 1.5%.
However, that's below the inflation rate of 2.3% that has been reported by the Office for National Statistics.
The data from Homelet is based on the new lets being agreed by agents and landlords and using its referencing service.
Their data highlights that the UK's average rent is now £921 per calendar month.
Rent growth across the UK fell to 0.7% in 2018
With London rents excluded, rent growth across the UK fell to 0.7% in 2018, with the average rent standing at £763 per month.
The index highlights that landlords in London have seen rents grow by 4.7% over the year to reach an average of £1,596 per month.
Homelet's chief executive, Martin Totty, said: "Positively for both landlords and tenants, we've seen stability in rent price growth, with increases remaining in-line broadly with the rate of consumer inflation.
"There remains a sustained demand for property for landlords and the private rental sector continues to provide the market with long-term and flexible housing options for tenants."
The data follows that of Nationwide whose index in December revealed that house price growth has slowed to 0.5% - down from December 2017's figure of 2.6%.
Mr Totty said: "This slowdown in house price growth is driven by the depressed London market which has seen house prices fall by 0.8% over the last four months of last year.
'Average rent values in the capital increased by more than 4%'
"We are seeing, in contrast, average rent values in the capital increase by more than 4% over the same period. We would expect this, ultimately, to continue in London if property demand outweighs supply."
Looking to the future, he said: "Private residential landlords will play a key role in the UK's housing market, while the outlook for property investors remains a positive one, a key concern for the market is the potential lack of supply in some regions.
"The government squeeze on landlords via regulation and taxation changes could discourage their participation in this important sector. Unlike the trends we saw last year, any reduction in property supply could lead to rent increases above the rate of consumer inflation."