For the first time in a decade, the total amount paid by private tenants to landlords in the UK has fallen.
New research carried out by Hamptons International showed a drop of almost £2 billion in the total amount paid to landlords between 2017 and 2018.
A total of £59.1 billion was paid in rent, which is £29.9 billion more than a decade ago. During the same period, the number of renting households grew by 52% to 1.7 million, with the cost of renting increasing by 12.4%.
According to the report, the recent drop in rent paid between 2017-18 is the result of a decrease in the the total number of renting households, as well as stagnation in the growth of rent prices.
Hamptons International’s report showed that 2019 had already kicked off with an upward trend in rent prices.
However, they have risen at a slower rate than they did last year - January 2019 saw a 0.6% year-on-year, increase, whereas January 2018 saw an annual increase of 2.4%.
How did annual rents fare regionally?
The East of England recorded the greatest increase in rental costs, with average monthly rent moving up to £943 - an increase of 2%.
The cost of renting in the capital is also on the rise, with the price of a new let rising 0.6% since January of last year. However, the South East and South West both saw rental costs drop by 0.5% during the same time period.
The North East and the East Midlands were the only two regions to register an increase in their total rental bill, with the nine other reasons all recording a fall during 2018. The North East saw an increase of £60 million in total rent taken, whereas the East Midlands saw a £130 million increase.
The capital got hit with the largest decrease. Landlords in London saw their total annual rental income drop by £620 million, to £20.6 billion in for 2018.
When looking at annual rent prices over the last ten years, however, increases have been recorded in every region. London landlords received £10.5 billion more than they did a decade ago.
After London, the South East and the East of England saw the greatest increases, with £14.2 billion and £3 billion respectively, whereas Wales had the smallest increase of just £70 million.
What do the experts say?
Aneisha Beveridge, the Head of Research at Hamptons International, says: “The total amount of rent paid by tenants in Great Britain fell for the first time in over a decade last year. Despite average rents rising 0.4% in 2018, fewer people renting homes meant the total rent bill shrank by £1.9 billion since 2017.
“Over the past 12 months, rental growth in Great Britain has slowed. Rental growth has fallen from 2.4% in January 2018 to 0.6% last month. The slowdown over the past year was mainly driven by London, but rents are now gradually starting to rise again in the capital. Meanwhile, the South East and South West both recorded falling rents last month.”