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London private rental price growth highest since 2017: ONS

Private rental prices in London rose 0.9 per cent in May, the highest rate of growth seen since September 2017, according to data collected by the Office for National Statistics.

This compares to the monthly growth of 0.5 per cent observed in April.

Annually, prices in the UK rose by 1.3 per cent in the 12 months to May 2019 – up from the 1.2 per cent seen in the month prior.

Looking at the annual data on a country by country basis, prices in England rose by 1.3 per cent annually; in Wales by 1.1 per cent; and in Scotland by 0.8 per cent.

The data adds that in the UK, rental prices have increased by more than 7 per cent since January 2015, with England leading the pack.

Imla executive director Kate Davies says that landlords are raising prices in response to changes to mortgage interest tax relief.

“We do not see it as a coincidence that several rental indices are show that, following a protracted period of softness, average rents in London are once again increasing,” she says.

“Despite the current political and economic uncertainty, we hope a change in leadership will be seen as an opportunity for the government to demonstrate its support for landlords, which goes hand-in-hand with helping people get on the property ladder.

“Growing pressure on landlords to increase rents in order to make ends meet will ultimately have a detrimental effect on renters’ ability to save for deposits to buy their own homes.

“The government should be careful to ensure that any future regulation around the private rental market does not further shrink the appetite of private landlords to satisfy the growing demand of tenants.”

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