First time buyers hit by rising rents

28 May 2003
First time buyers who are struggling to enter the property market because of the high price of properties now face rising rents.

The Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that demand for rental properties is at its fastest pace for two years, which is pushing up rental prices in nearly all parts of the UK.

RICS found that rent falls were recorded in London and the Southeast whilst the highest increases were seen in the northern regions of the country.

RICS argued that the surplus of first time buyers and the number of people who have sold their homes to take advantage of rising house prices has helped to increase demand for rental properties.

The survey stated, 'Fears of a house price slump have seen some households bring sales forward and rent while they wait and see what happens to prices. Meanwhile, some prospective first -time buyers are renting because they cannot afford to buy.

According to the survey the average rent in the UK was £714 per calendar month in April. The highest rents were still found in London, where the average was £1619 per calendar month, followed by the South East where monthly rents were £713. Wales had the lowest rents, at £366 per calendar month.

For the UK as whole, the rent on a one bedroom flat was £518, while for a four bedroom detached house was £1276 per calendar month.

RICS stated that surveyors are expecting only modest rises in rents over the coming months. They believe that there will be modest rent rises in almost all regions, except in the eastern region where they expect rents to stagnate.