UK rents grew by 0.56 per cent last year, according to the latest rental price index by Landbay.
The research showed that rent prices rose more substantially in many commuter ‘hot spots’ in the South East.
A total of 31 out of 40 most popular commuter routes saw rents increase by more than the national average. Buy-to-let properties in almost half of these towns (17 out of 40) saw rent rises that will cost more, in monetary terms, than the recent much-publicised hike in annual rail fares.
In these 17 areas, rents have increased by an average of £183 – or 1.68 per cent. The biggest increases have been in Cambridge and Brighton, where average rents have increased by £228 (2.06 per cent) and £202 (1.58 per cent) respectively.
Season tickets prices in these towns have increased by £172 and £163 respectively.
A further six town in London’s commuter belt saw rents rise by more than 1 per cent – double the UK average. This included Luton, Hastings, Basingstoke, Ashford, Canterbury and Horsham.
But not all buy-to-let hotspots in the South East has seen rents rise. Average rents in Guildford, Reigate and Woking fell during 2017, by an average of 0.73 per cent.
Landbay says there are now signs that demand for low-rent accommodation by long-distance commuters to London is pushing up rents in many commuter towns. In contrast rents in the capital fell by 0.8 per cent during 2017.
Landbay chief executive John Goodall says: “Commuters have seen their season ticket prices rise by more than £100 this week, and the vast majority are also looking at a double whammy of rent rises driven by greater tenant demand.
“Without a radical house building plan for purchase as well as purpose-built rental properties, rental price growth is expected to accelerate this year.”