UK Average Rent up 8% to £758 per month

Buy-to-let mortgage applications have rocketed over the past year fuelled by a healthy increase in UK rents, new figures show.

The average UK rent has increased 8% since January 2013 to an average of £758 a month, according to new figures from estate agency chain Sequence, which owns chains Barnard Marcus, William H Brown and Fox & Sons.

Buy-to-let mortgage applications soared 17% as the appetite for property investment remains strong, it said.

London rents remain stable at £1,395 a month, up 1% over the year. Rents in the capital actually fell 2% in January.

But the number of new tenancies across the UK is rising rapidly, up 15% over the past 12 months as new tenants look to secure rental property at the start of the year. The number of new tenancies rose 17% in London over the year.

Stephen Nation, head of lettings for Sequence, said: “The rental market across the country has started the year with renewed vigour and increasing levels of demand.

“We have seen a surge in the number of new tenancies this month, as tenants compete to secure their property at the start of the year.

“This high level of activity is due to the sheer volume of new tenants coming into the market. New tenant applications increased by 6% annually across the UK and 10% in London.

“Across the UK the supply is keeping up with demand, with new rental properties increasing by 6% annually, however, in London there is a shortfall, down -4% annually.”

Buy-to-let remains the investment of choice across the UK, Nation said. “This news comes in spite of the retraction of the Funding for Lending Scheme from the mortgage market and highlights just how strong this market is.

“The pipeline of new investors we are seeing will continue the flow of properties onto the market and appease demand, which should in turn, keep rents stable.”