Average UK rents exceed £800

The August 2012 HomeLet Rental Index shows the UK’s average rental amount increased by 2.1% since last month and is now the most expensive it’s ever been.

Renting a home in the Capital also reached new heights after increasing by 2.3% to £1,272 a month since July 2012.

In contrast to rising rents tenants are earning less than they did last month – and also last year (when comparing income levels from June, July and August of 2011 and 2012) - after their average annual income dropped by 1.9% and 0.1% respectively.

Around the rest of the country the South West saw the largest annual decrease after average rents lowered by 3.5% to £753 a month. The North East also saw its third consecutive annual decrease after dropping by 3.3% to £524 a month.

Ian Fraser, HomeLet’s managing director, said: “The August HomeLet Rental Index shows the average age of the UK tenant has consecutively decreased over the past three years to 32.

“This is contrary to the average age of a first time buyer that has increased to 37 – which could suggest renting a home is the only option for those would-be first time home owners.

“Data from this month’s report also shows less of the tenants we referenced were previously homeowners, and an increased percentage of them previously rented another home.

“This could be further proof that renting has become a way of life for many, as they remain in rented accommodation for longer.

“Despite mortgage payments being at a 15-year low securing a mortgage still remains difficult and a higher amount of people are turning to the private rented sector when moving to a new home. This has caused an increase in demand, shortage in housing supply and increasing – and now record - rents within the rental market.

“Although this is beneficial for landlords and letting agents, tenants are being stretched more than ever, and it will be interesting to see how long they’ll be able to afford these continually rising living costs.”