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The second half of 2017 has been a good one for landlords in the private rental sector as rental income is back  in the black, as UK rents rose by an average of 1.1 % in July pulling itself from negative inflation.

Research compiled by Homelet Rental Index shows that the average rent for a UK property with any new tenancy agreed is now an impressive 925 GBP, a sizable increase on the year before which was priced at 915 GBP.

Now for the many people the 1.1% increase may not be enough to get you swinging from the rafters, but if you take into consideration that the previous two months we saw declines of 0.3 per cent and 0.2 per cent in May and June respectively.

This is the only time we have seen a drop in rents from UK property since way back in 2009, so the 1.1% increase is most definitely a step in the right direction.

However the London rental market is bucking the trend with inflation at -0.6%, which has seen 4 consecutive months of decreases, which is a long way from the 6.6 percent positive trend the same time last year.

HomeLet’s Chief Executive Officer, Martin Totty said: ‘It’s often been the case in recent times that rents have strengthened over the summer period. It’s a time when renters contemplate moving, demand increases, tenancy terms are set, and when the anniversary of the tenancy often occurs. This year, that ‘seasonal’ factor brings some relief for landlords, who’ve endured a gradual erosion in rent prices over many months. At the same stage last year, the South East was the main driver of UK average rents. This time around it’s regions throughout the country leading the strengthening in rents. If we exclude the London region, the average UK rent for a private rental property has hit a new high of £769 a month, up 1.6 per cent on this time last year.’

He continued: ‘Whether the market has now found some equilibrium remains to be seen, but landlords at least will be grateful for even some short respite. Predicting where the market heads from here is very difficult given the number of competing forces impacting the sector, either already being felt or still being contemplated. We know housing stock for sale is in short supply and the Bank of England has expressed concerns about the ‘credit overhang’ and lenders’ resilience should economic activity start to slow. At the very least, these factors should not be unhelpful to the rental sector in the immediate future, encouraging landlords to stick with property owning as an asset class, with potential still to provide relatively attractive returns compared with alternative investment choices.’

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