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Rental growth in the UK hits a 14-year high

Average UK annual rental growth has reached a 14-year high, with rents increasing to £995/month in Q1 2021, an extra £88 a month compared to the start of the pandemic, new Zoopla research shows.

The latest figures from the property portal reveal that average rents are up 11% year-on-year, but there are growing signs the market is nearing its peak, as the cost of living crisis continues to put increased pressure on renters.

In London, the proportion of earnings spent on rent has increased to a significant 52% for a single earner, reflecting the fact that a new let agreed for an average rental property in London will cost more than £20,000 in rent over the next 12 months.

In the UK as a whole, the average rent now accounts for over a third of gross income – 37% – for a single earner. Around a third of renters live alone, according to the English Housing Survey.

There’s also been a strong bounce back in rental growth in London from falls of 10% seen last year. Average annual rental growth in the capital rose to 15% at the end of Q1 – driven by demand for flats from students, office workers and international demand.

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