Landlord Knowledge - Home of the Savvy Buy to Let Property Investor

Housing Market Update: Record Rent Increase Helps Boost Buyers and House Prices

Recent analyses reveal a complex dynamic in the UK housing market, with record rent increases boosting buyer numbers, despite a general slowdown in buy-to-let loans, according to the latest data from the Financial Conduct Authority.

Persistent Rent Increases Strain Tenant Budgets
Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown, reports a historic 9.2% increase in private rents across the UK, the highest since records began in 2015. This surge has placed considerable pressure on renters, particularly in London where rents have risen to an average of £2,055. Coles points out, “There’s no let-up in the squeeze on renters… The number of new tenants has risen every single month since the market reopened after lockdown.” The reduction in landlords since summer 2022 has intensified competition for available properties, pushing rents even higher. The Hargreaves Lansdown Savings & Resilience Barometer indicates that renters are left with approximately £193 at month’s end, with less than half possessing adequate emergency savings.

Property Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Despite a slight annual decrease in property prices, the market is showing signs of revival with a 0.4% monthly increase in house prices. Sarah Coles suggests we are nearing a turning point: “We’re teetering on the brink of a turning point for the property market, with another monthly price rise, and the annual fall shrinking to just 0.2%.” This recovery is fueled by a resurgence of buyer enthusiasm, sparked by falling mortgage rates in late 2023, although rates have slightly risen since.

Mortgage Market Responds to Economic Shifts
Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, notes a positive trend with a month-on-month growth in house prices as spring approaches, traditionally a period of higher demand. He remarks, “This is showing strength within the market and signs of a stabilising economy.” Furthermore, Richard Rowntree from Paragon Bank comments on the rental market pressures, attributing the rent inflation to a mismatch of supply and demand which could worsen unless the stock of rental homes increases to match population growth and household formation expectations.

As the UK housing market navigates these challenges, potential homebuyers are increasingly motivated to escape rising rents, making government incentives like the Lifetime ISA more appealing for those struggling to save for a deposit.

The ONS released private rent and house price data today: Private rent and house prices, UK: April 2024

House price data was also published by the Land Registry: UK House Price Index for February 2024