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Divided England: Massive disparity in north-south rent costs

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Divided England: Massive disparity in north-south rent costs

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Finance

Westminster negotiates lower private rents on former council flats Westminster negotiates lower private rents on former council flats

The difference in cost between renting a home in the north over the south of England is almost twice as much as it was in 2008, new research has revealed.

Data from the January 2014 HomeLet Rental Index shows rents are currently 69% more expensive in the southern regions of Greater London, the South East and South West, than in regions around the rest of the UK. Back in January 2008, the difference was 37%.

And though the data shows the average monthly rent cost across the country fell by 1.7% in January to £800 per month, prices are still an average of 2.4% higher than the same time last year.

Gary Abraham, HomeLet’s sales and marketing director, said: “With UK home sales at the highest for six years (according to recent figures released by RICs) we might expect tenant demand for property in the private rented sector to drop in 2014, as they potentially begin moving in to owner occupied accommodation.

“Our latest data certainly shows that the rate at which rental values are increasing has slowed down following the rapid growth we saw immediately after the 2008 housing crisis. However, whilst more people are buying, a reported increase in house prices means that buying remains unaffordable for many, particularly in the capital, and some would-be-buyers may worry about the prospect of factors like negative equity or large deposits.

“A lack of affordable housing stock in the south could be one of the drivers for the growing divide we’re seeing between rental values in the north and the south. Our data shows that the difference in cost between renting a home in the South compared to the North has increased for the sixth consecutive year.

“Whilst the owner occupied market might be stabilising, the private rented sector is becoming a much longer term housing solution for many. We’re seeing a combination of increased average tenant ages, increased income and previous tenancy length."

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