Buy-to-let rents are rising in Wales at the fastest rate across the UK, according to the latest official figures.
The Office of National Statistics Index of Private Housing Rental Prices for May says rents in Wales were up 1.2% for the year ending May 2018. In comparison, average UK rents were up 1% – but 0.6% in Scotland and -0.2% down in London. The increase equates to a £8 a month rise for a tenant paying rent of £500 in May 2017, who would pay £508 in May 2018.
“Growth in private rental prices paid by tenants in Great Britain has slowed since the end of 2015,” said the ONS report.
“This slowdown in the growth in private rental prices in Great Britain is driven mainly by a slowdown in London over the same period.”
A separate study from OneSavings Bank, which owns buy to let mortgage brands Kent Reliance and InterBay, claims the buy to let sector is ‘stuttering’ as just 1% more landlords are boosting instead of shrinking their property portfolios and the number of homes increases by 3% to 5.7 million.
The average increase in the number of homes has hit 5% in recent years.
“The growth of the private rental sector has slowed as government intervention and economic uncertainty has bitten, but the prolonged absence of first-time buyers in the housing market will support its long-term expansion,” says the report Buy to Let Britain.
OneSavings CEO Andy Golding said: “Landlords were left reeling after the introduction of tighter regulation and higher taxes, while the spectre of Brexit is already weighing on the housing market. This has naturally deterred investment into the private rented sector, especially from amateur speculators.
Political opinion may be set against the private rental sector, but without it, the housing crisis would be deeper still. First-time buyer numbers, despite recent fanfare, are a long way from pre-recession levels and with household numbers growing, and new housing starts inadequate, it is the PRS that will continue to pick up the slack. Policy should recognise that.”