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Rents 'not spiralling out of control' - Belvoir boss condemns 'sensationalist' press stories

Rental price inflation was flat across Great Britain for the fourth consecutive month in July, fi...

Rental price inflation was flat across Great Britain for the fourth consecutive month in July, figures from the ONS show.

Separately, Belvoir has said that  “sensationalist” rent rises portrayed by the media are untrue.

The firm says average rents rose 2.75% annually during the second quarter of 2017 to £751.

Its data shows rents range from £597 in the north-west and £665 in Yorkshire, through to £1,048 in the south-east and £1,446 per month in London.

The research also looks at where Belvoir offices said rents were rising or falling in the second quarter and found that in each region there was a mix of branches reporting both rises and falls.

The research also showed tenants are staying in their properties for longer, with almost half choosing to stay for 13-18 months, and 36% staying for up to two years.

The majority of Belvoir offices (80%) carried out no or just one eviction during the period.

Dorian Gonsalves, chief executive of Belvoir, said: “Sensationalist media reports that rents are spiralling out of control across the country are at odds with what our offices are reporting, and that other letting agents across the country are currently experiencing.”

Separately, the ONS index of private housing rental prices showed rents rose 1.8% in the 12 months to July 2017.

No actual figures were provided, but there were regional differences.

The largest annual rental price increases were in the east midlands, increasing 2.6% to 2.8%.

The second largest rent rises were in the south-east, but rental price inflation was down from 2.8% to 2.6%.

The lowest annual rental price increases were in the north-east, at 0.5%, unchanged from June 2017.

Annual growth in private rental prices in London was 1.5% in the 12 months to July 2017, up from 1.3% in June 2017.

Commenting on the figures, Andrew Benn, managing director of lettings at Spicerhaart, said: “While the ONS’s IPHRP figures show that UK rents remain broadly static, there are geographic differences with tenants in the north-west seeing increases of just 0.5%, while the east midlands, south-east and south-west experienced rises in excess of 2.5%.

“It is classic supply and demand. The number of tenants looking for new properties rose last week to the highest amount since the beginning of the year, and this increase in demand may well see a slight additional rise in next month’s figures, especially as the number of new properties bought by private landlords declines a little"

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