Rents outside London hit record high of £964 per month

Rents outside London hit record high of £964 per month as families look for more space during the pandemic

Rents outside London hit a record high of £964 per month as families shun inner city flats for bigger homes during the pandemic.

The figure is 2.4 per cent higher than a year ago, with prices being driven by strong demand for two and three bedroom properties, says property website Rightmove.

At the same time, rents for studio flats and one bedroom homes, – hugely popular a year ago – have tumbled. 

Living space: Rents for studio flats and one bedroom homes have tumbled as tenants seek out larger properties with gardens and spare rooms to use as offices

Michael Cook, national lettings boss at Leaders Romans Group, said the crisis had ‘changed tenant priorities’ with fewer people needing to live close to offices in London.

He said many now wanted ‘bigger homes with gardens and a separate space to work in, and this now comes at a premium’.

That has led some landlords with smaller properties to go to greater lengths to attract tenants, Rightmove analyst Miles Shipside said.

‘Some agents are advising their landlords to turn part of the living room into a work-from-home space, or offering to install high-speed broadband for tenants as an added incentive,’ he said.

Rightmove said monthly rents in London have fallen 3 per cent to £1,966 on average. Rents fell most steeply in inner London, by 6.8 per cent to £2,288, while in outer London they fell 0.8 per cent to £1,731.

Outside the capital, rents rose by 2.4 per cent, driven by strong growth in the north of England and South Wales. 

They climbed 3.3 per cent in the north-east, 3.1 per cent in the north-west and by 3 per cent in Yorkshire & the Humber. In the south-west, rents also rose by 4 per cent.

Studio flats, which in September 2019 were the most popular property, ranked eighth in Rightmove’s survey. 

One bedroom houses and flats, also high up the list a year ago, also fell in popularity. 

By contrast, two, three and four bedroom properties now dominate the rankings. That has led to a glut of smaller properties in London.