A look back at the rental market in 2018

By 28th February 2019 Landlords

Now that 2018 has come to an end, it’s a good time to look back and see how the rental market has changed over the year, and get a better idea of what it’s like to be a landlord, or a tenant, today. How have rents changed, how has Bristol been affected, and what does the future hold?

Rents on the rise

During 2018, rents rose throughout the country. As of November 2018, the average UK rent is £918 per month, rocketing to £1,597 per month in Greater London. This is an increase of 1.5% in the country as a whole (4.4% in London), compared to November of the previous year. Related to this is the fact that more than 40% of young people don’t believe they’ll ever be able to afford to buy a property.

Bristol’s rental market

Bristol remains a very popular place to live – in 2017 it was named the ‘best place to live in Britain’ by the Sunday Times, and in 2018 it was revealed to be the best UK city for job opportunities, based on employment data from the Royal Mail. In terms of renting, the city (and the South West in general) is among the more expensive markets in the country. Bristol rents have risen by 33% in the last four years, and rents in the South West tend to be higher than the average for the rest of the country. However, this growth has slowed compared to the ‘boom’ years following the financial downturn.

The landlord’s perspective

2018 has seen extremely low mortgage rates for buy-to-let mortgages, and longer-term ‘fixes’ for these rates have been introduced. This has been good news for landlords, but writer for Moneyfacts Rachel Springall says, “It is largely expected that interest rates will rise in the near future, largely down to economic uncertainties.” Future changes in legislation will impact landlords, tenants and letting agents alike, including the Tenant Fees Bill (which aims to remove letting agent fees for tenants and cap damage deposits), and the Client Money Protection Scheme (which protects landlords’ and tenants’ money when dealing with letting agents).

An uncertain future

So what does 2019 hold for the UK’s rental market? There is a lot of uncertainty ahead as the country waits to find out what impact Brexit will have on the economy. Housing is just one element of a large and complex picture, and there are all sorts of different claims being made about the future of the UK’s housing market, both pessimistic and optimistic. Research by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors predicts that rents will continue to rise by 15% over the next five years, but ultimately the future of renting in the UK is a case of ‘wait and see’.


Do you have a property to rent in Bristol? Contact Gough Quarters today to find out how we can help.

Image sources:

Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

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