The cost of renting in the UK has risen by a dramatic 11%, Zoopla’s Rental Market Report has found.
This equates to an increase of £88 per month, bringing rents to £995.
The steepest climb across the UK’s major cities is in London (15.7%), followed by Manchester (14.3%), Belfast (13.7%), Birmingham (13.0%) and Nottingham (13.0%).
Typical rents in London now stand at £1,698.
Gary Wright, co-chief executive of payment technology firm flatfair, said: “We knew rents were rising but the extent revealed by the data is shocking.
“Londoners are spending more than half of their income on rent, and in this context it is simply unrealistic to expect renters to be able to find five weeks’ rent for a deposit.”
2022 increasingly seems to be a year defined by high inflation, with the rising cost of energy, house prices and now rents.
The Bank of England has also hiked the base rate to deal with rising inflation, though the increasing cost of mortgages doesn’t compare to rents.
Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “While this hike in rent makes it harder to save for a first property, it also means there’s nothing to be gained from putting off a property purchase.
“A new let in London will cost you over £20,000 in rent over the next 12 months, which is money that may as well be paying off your mortgage.
“Meanwhile, although house prices may well rise more slowly in the coming months, we’re not seeing any widespread conviction that house prices will actually fall – so you could still see property get more expensive while you wait.
“There’s also a hidden benefit for mortgage holders from inflation, because it erodes the value of your debt. Anyone borrowing this time last year will have seen inflation eat up 7% of the real value of their debts – even before you factor in any repayments.
“The pressure on rents shows no sign of abating. Landlords continue to sell up in order to capitalise on higher house prices, so there are fewer properties left for the growing number of tenants.
“The latest RICS report highlighted that in some areas there are 10 tenants chasing every property. Right now there are no signs that the hidden string holding the property market up is going to be cut any time soon.”
Wage growth hit 8.8% last year, meaning rents are rising faster than earnings.
Richard Davies, Chestertons’ head of lettings, said: “Tenants who secured a property at a discounted rental rate during the pandemic are keen to hold on to this deal as long as possible, particularly in the face of rising living costs.
“With the return of office workers, international students and corporate tenants alike, London’s rental market has seen unprecedented demand that is outstripping supply.
“This has created an extremely competitive market for tenants and many have begun offering landlords more rent than they are asking in order to secure a property.”