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UK rents ‘rising at fastest pace in 13 years’

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Rents across the UK are rising at the fastest pace since 2008 as strong demand outstrips supply, according the property website Zoopla.

Private sector rents in September were 4.6% higher than a year earlier at £968 a month on average, marking the strongest growth in 13 years, Zoopla found.

Excluding London, rents across the UK were up by 6% annually, a figure that Zoopla said was a 14-year high.

Rents in the south-west of England were up by 9% annually, making it the region registering the fastest rental growth in the third quarter of 2021.

And rents in Purbeck in Dorset were up by 16.2% annually, making it the location with the highest rate of rental growth.

Zoopla said demand was continuing to outstrip supply and putting an upward pressure on rents.

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Rental growth is also partly because of the popularity of properties in higher price bands, reflecting an ongoing search for space during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rents in London are also starting to climb as people return to offices, with annual price growth of 1.6% recorded in the latest report, compared with falls of nearly 10% at the start of the year.

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Annual growth in rental prices stood at 2.7% in Scotland (averaging 627 a month), 5.8% in Northern Ireland (633 a month typically) and 7.7% in Wales (660 a month).

Grainne Gilmore, the head of research at Zoopla, said: “The swing back of demand into city centres, including London, has underpinned another rise in rents in quarter three, especially as the supply of rental property remains tight.”

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She added: “Meanwhile, just as in the sales market, there is still a cohort of renters looking for properties offering more space, or a more rural or coastal location.”