Rental demand for UK homes approaches average of £1,000 per calendar month

Demand for rental property has continued to show incredible growth over the last 12 months, with much of the UK looking to move out of shared living following the tight and lengthy restrictions garnered from the global covid pandemic.

As a result, there is a now a chronic undersupply of rental property which is boosting the average UK rental price. The last three months of 2021 experienced the fastest rise, with the average UK price growing by 8.3% to almost £1,000 per calendar month. This surge is the largest seen in the UK for over 10 years and represents around £62 more a month for a typical rental property.

Property website Zoopla’s findings indicate that the average rental price now stands at £969, with landlords benefiting from shorter listing times and longer-term agreements in a bid from renters to fix this continuing price increase.

Putting this growth into context certainly makes for stark reading, as renters will now find prices are on average £744 higher than they were in March 2020 before the pandemic.

The strongest growth - 10.3% - was in London, followed by Northern Ireland (10.2%) and Wales (9.8%). Scotland experienced the slowest growth, where they reached 4.8%, and north-east England where they rose by 6%.

Average monthly rents in December 2021

Region - Annual - increase

London - £1,640 - 10.3%

Northern Ireland - £646 - 10.2%

Wales - £686 - 9.8%

South-west - £897 - 9.5%

West  Midlands - £728 - 8.6%

Yorkshire  and the Humber - £655 - 8.5%

North-west - £674 - 8.0%

East  Midlands - £709 - 8.0%

South-east - £1,089 - 6.4%

East of England - £963 - 6.1%

North-east - £561 - 6.0%

Scotland - £639 - 4.8%

Further information from Zoopla indicates that 2022 could be another record year for rental prices. The website has indicated searches for rental property are now 76% higher than at any point over the last 4 years, with northern cities in particular struggling to keep up with demand. Liverpool and Manchester both offer lower entry levels than the capital, and with more jobs than ever appearing through strong economic growth, demand is likely to continue outstripping supply.