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Rent increases at highest level for 18 months


Private tenants are facing the biggest rent hike in more than 18 months, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Tenants in private rented homes saw their rent increase by 2.1% in the 12 months to March 2015, as higher demand led to landlords increasing prices. The sharpest rise was in London, were tenants saw their rent rise by 3.2%, and the slowest was a 0.4% increase in the North East of England, including Yorkshire and the Humber. Rents were also up by 2.1% in Scotland, while in Wales they moved up by just 0.8%.

The ONS figures also showed that 20% of homes in the UK were privately rented in 2014, which is double the amount of homes that were rented in 2002. Rising house prices and the 2008 financial crisis created a lack of affordable housing, especially for young people and first time buyers.

Matt Hutchinson, director of flat and house share site said:
"We have a chronic shortage of housing in the areas where jobs are being created, so rents continue to rise as supply fails to meet demand.
"In some areas of London we are seeing up to 13 people compete for every room advertised during peak months."
“The upward pressure on rents is rapidly making the situation both unmanageable and unsustainable for tenants.”

House prices are also rising at considerable speed, with the ONS showing that there was a 7.2% increase in property prices in the year to the end of February.

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