The Average Rent In The UK Just Hit A Record High… Again

Photographed by Matilda Hill-Jenkins
This week brings more bad news for the UK's already stretched private renters: prices have climbed to another record high.
According to Rightmove, the average rent for a property outside London is now £1,162 per calendar month, which is a leap of 3% in the last three months. Within Greater London, the average rent for a property is a colossal £2,343 per calendar month, which is a rise of 16.1% year-on-year.
It's little wonder that back in August, London's Mayor Sadiq Khan asked for rent-freezing powers to help tenants through the escalating cost of living crisis. So far, his pleas have fallen on deaf ears from the UK government.
The situation is a little better north of the border, where the Scottish Parliament has recently passed emergency legislation giving ministers the power to freeze most private and social rents until March 2023.
The latest price hikes are yet another reflection of the total chaos that is the private rental market right now. According to Rightmove, tenant demand is up 20% year-on-year, but available rental properties are down 9%, which has made it incredibly difficult for renters to find somewhere – anywhere – to live.
The competition for studio flats is especially steep: in fact, there are four times as many tenants looking for one as there are studio flats available, an absolutely abysmal state of affairs.
Talking about her stressful flat hunt in north London recently, a Refinery29 colleague said: "There were literally around 60 other people viewing the property. By the time I’d talked to my boyfriend about it because he couldn’t make the viewing, it had gone to someone else. The agents were also asking people to put sealed bids in on their way out."
Rightmove's Tim Bannister acknowledged that the market is "a real challenge for renters at the moment", but did offer a small glimmer of hope. Outside of London, at least, more properties are starting to come onto the market.
However, he also added a caveat: "Those looking to rent a smaller property in the next few months may find that they face some added competition from would-be first-time buyers, who have had their purchase plans scuppered for now due to the sudden rise in mortgage interest rates, and are now looking to rent."
So basically, Generation Rent is growing, and it's getting tougher for all of us.