Rents at record high as we reveal top 10 hotspots outside London

  • Pudsey in West Yorkshire, with a 12% jump, has seen the biggest rise in average asking rents outside London over the past year
  • Asking rents are currently at a record high of £817 per calendar month, with the north of Great Britain dominating the top ten highest risers
  • Esher in Surrey is the only place in the South that makes the list, with rents up 8%

Great Britain’s rental hotspots are in towns and cities in the north rather than the south according to the latest Rightmove data, analysing asking rents outside London.

Research from the UK’s number one property website shows that northern locations dominate the top ten places where asking rents have increased the most – excluding the capital – since July 2018.

Pudsey in West Yorkshire topped the table for highest rental growth, with tenants looking at paying £680 per calendar month (pcm) on average last month. That’s a 12% hike from £607 pcm 12 months ago.

Pontypridd in Wales was second in the table, with Bury in Greater Manchester finishing third, after both towns saw year-on-year asking rent increases of 9%.

In Scotland, the highest rental growth was in Stirling. Average asking rents increased in the city by 7% from £658 to £707 pcm between July last year and July 2019.

Esher in Surrey was the only place from the south of England to make the top ten, with average asking rents rising 8% from £1,614 in July 2018 to £1,743 in July this year. Esher is also home to the highest asking rents outside London.

Data from Rightmove’s Rental Trends Tracker for Q2 2019 also showed that nationally (excluding London) asking rents are at a record high of £817 per month, and running at 2.7% up on a year ago as rents continue a steady annual rise.

The figures also revealed that demand from tenants looking for a new place increased 7% between May and June, an uplift seven times bigger when compared to the previous four-year average of just 1% at that time of year, as tenants waited until after the ban on tenant fees in England on 1st June.

The Tenant Fees Act applies to new tenancies and renewals of tenancies, meaning that landlords and letting agents won’t be able to charge for a range of admin fees that they previously had, and has capped tenancy deposits to five weeks.

Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said: “Various forces have combined to help push rents to a new record. There are fewer landlords, as some have exited the market due to more punitive taxes, while tenant demand has increased due to the lower upfront costs of arranging a new tenancy. It’s the more northerly locations that have driven this increase and they dominate the top ten hotspots when you exclude the capital’s more rarefied market. These rent jumps are good news for landlords who have ridden out the tax hikes, though they may cause some tenants to falter after the initial excitement of the potential of upfront savings under the tenant fee ban.”

Agents’ view

John Sheader, lettings manager of Manning Stainton in Pudsey, said: “It’s booming in Pudsey; as an area it’s really close to Leeds and there’s quite a lot of investment being pumped into the city at the moment. Channel 4 are moving their headquarters to Leeds, which is going to create plenty of jobs. But Pudsey itself is turning into quite a young area, with a nice ‘young professional’ vibe there. It’s got lots of independent shops and bars as well as new builds and other development projects. It’s seen a real transformation recently and it’s thriving. Rents have historically been quite low there, with nearby areas being more expensive. But with people who work in the city moving to Pudsey, the demand has increased and so its prices have been playing catch-up. It’s only 15 minutes from Leeds city centre by car, and even quicker by train – Pudsey has a station with direct access into Leeds. It’s the perfect location for younger people and it’s no surprise to see it’s topped Rightmove’s table.”

Top ten places where asking rents have increased outside London (for two-bedroom properties):

Rank Location Average asking rent (July 19) Average asking rent (July 18) % change
1 Pudsey £680 £607 12%
2 Pontypridd £550 £505 9%
3 Bury £629 £578 9%
4 Newcastle Upon Tyne £701 £644 9%
5 Esher £1,743 £1,614 8%
6 Stirling £707 £658 7%
7 Durham £579 £539 7%
8 York £833 £776 7%
9 Rochdale £535 £499 7%
10 Dundee £611 £570 7%
Note: The data for towns/cities comprises average asking rents for two-bedroom properties only. The time period in which this data was measured was between 1st July 2018 and 31st July 2019.

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