New national lettings index launches

A new Rental Index, launched by the tenancy referencing firm Homelet, quotes actual rents agreed, and not advertised rents - a first in the industry.

It takes data each month from over 3,000 letting agents across the UK and provides tenant demographics plus commentary - including, for example, that tenants are getting older and are 10% more likely to be male than female.

The new index shows that in May, rents in the UK decreased slightly, by just £1, when compared with April, to stand at an average of £747.

Large regional valuations included a rise in the West Midlands and a drop in the North-West. While rents continued to rise in London, their rate of growth slowed to just 0.42%.

The index also found that there was a month-on-month growth in the percentage of tenants who were previously owner occupiers. According to Homelet, 16% of private tenants were previously owners, compared with 39% who were living with family and 49% who are moving from previous rental accommodation.

The index has been months in the preparation, so that it is able to present both monthly and annual comparisons.

Homelet plans to expand the index on feedback from customers. Additions could include data about tenants with county court judgments, the length of tenancies, and tenant income.

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