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Help to Buy scheme suppresses rent rises

Help to Buy scheme suppresses rent rises

  • MwU website picRents stabilise across the country as owning property becomes more affordable with the Help to Buy scheme
  • Average advertised rents declined in Q3 2013, reversing the inflated rental prices seen in recent years
  • Greater London continues to operate in its own bubble with rents increasing by £55 over Q3


Move with Us Rental Index – Q3 2013

Q3 Rental Price Changes

Average advertised rents were down in almost every region in the third quarter of 2013. This marks the start of the market balancing out as confidence increases in the sales market, stabilising rents across the country.

The average advertised rent in Britain reached £965 per month at the end of Q3, having fluctuated between £964 per month and a high of £970 per month over Q3.

London rents continue to operate in their own bubble and have increased by £55 in the same period.

Robin King, Director, Move with Us, says: “Average advertised rents fell in every region except Greater London and the West Midlands. Reductions in most regions tying in with the launch of Help to Buy indicates that the scheme may be starting to impact the rental market. Those who would ordinarily rent are opting to buy, putting downward pressure on rental prices as demand reduces. With this in mind, we anticipate further falls in advertised rents in the coming months, as the market starts to stabilise and reverse the over-inflated rental prices that we have seen in the past few years.

“Greater London is the anomaly of the last quarter as the only region to have seen significant rises in average asking rents, further proof that it operates in its own bubble separate to the rest of the UK. Rents in the capital have increased by £55 over Q3, the strongest period of prolonged growth for over 12 months.

“With the Help to Buy scheme providing tenants with a real alternative to renting a property, landlords should look to protect their rents and maximise yields by offering well-maintained properties with added benefits, such as a fast WIFI connection as part of their tenancy agreement. They should also ensure their properties are energy efficient to help keep bills down and ensure early compliance with 2016’s regulation changes.”

Regional highlights

Average Advertised Rent Q3 2013

Greater London
After hitting a low of £2,149 per month, average rents in the capital increased sharply throughout August to £2,210 per month, the highest level recorded since Q4 2012. Despite being £63 down on the same period in 2012, the 10% annual decline measured in Q2 2013 has adjusted to just under 3% in the third quarter of this year. The growth in London is in contrast to the declines in both East Anglia and the South East’s advertised rents which had previously prospered from the high rental prices in the capital, and the close proximity to the social and work opportunities London provides.

South West
In line with the majority of the regions in Britain, rents in the South West fell in the third quarter of 2013, continuing the trend which began in February this year following a peak of £815 at the end of 2012. Q3 saw rents fall by a further 1.32% from the end of the previous quarter, to £779 per month. The gradual decline in average advertised rents in the region since the start of the year has resulted in a market where the average rent is now lower than rates were in October 2012.

South East
In the third quarter of 2013 average advertised rents in the South East declined for the first time in 12 months falling by £14 (1.24%) to £1,134 per month. The growth experienced in Q2 2013 continued throughout July before hitting a peak in August and beginning to tail off sharply in September. As a result advertised rents fell by nearly £30 in two months. However, given the strong increases leading up to this quarter, rents still remain up by £26 or 2.37% in a year on year comparison.

East Anglia
Average advertised rents in East Anglia have grown steadily in line with those of the South East but in contrast, have remained stable throughout Q3 2013 with a marginal decline of just 0.03%. Rents in the quarter have both increased and decreased, albeit within a range of £8. The average advertised rent in East Anglia is £894 per month, up by £21 against the same time 12 months ago.

East Midlands
Rents in the East Midlands fell for the third successive quarter after the peak of November 2012, when average advertised rents reached £644 per month. The decline seen throughout Q3 2013 has been more moderate than in previous months having fallen by just 0.91%, indicating that rents are beginning to stabilise. Average advertised rents remain £15 up on 2012, and the market remains more buoyant than in July 2012 when rents hit a low of £585 per month.

West Midlands
The fluctuation in average advertised rents has continued throughout the past three months but returning to a stable rental price of £657 per month at the end of September. Rents in August reached a 12 month high of £661 before dropping off slightly the following month. The change in advertised rents between the beginning and end of the quarter was just 0.19%. The West Midlands remains the most consistent region in Britain over a 12 month period as rents have fluctuated by no more than £13 indicating a stable region.

Yorkshire & Humber
Average advertised rents in Yorkshire & Humber fell to a 12 month low point of £590 per month throughout the third quarter, with a decline of 1.85%. This indicates that there has been a degree of stabilisation although the regional market is struggling after a strong end to 2012. Advertised rents in the region remain the cheapest in Britain having fallen by over £10 in the third quarter of 2013. Yorkshire & Humber is the only region where average rents are below the £600 per month mark and the downward trend would indicate that this is not expected to change in the next six months.

North West
The strong growth in the region’s rental market at the end of 2012 has been met with three successive quarters of decline in 2013. This is a picture which has been mirrored throughout the whole of the North of England. The softening of rental prices in Q2 2013 which suggested the stabilisation of rents in the region has been reversed by a three month period in which rents have fallen by approximately £15. As such, average advertised rents in the region are down on those of 2012 by just 0.27% suggesting the market has found its natural level.

North East
As with the North West, advertised rents in the North East have dropped by approximately £15 over the quarter. The peak of November and December of last year appears to have created artificial expectations that the market was set to increase and the return to rents similar to those of last year would suggest, as with the North West, a more appropriate price level.

The stability of Q2 2013 carried on into July and August before the market turned in September and average rents fell by 2.68% to end the quarter on £660 per month, £18 less than the start of Q3. Rents in Scotland peaked in a similar fashion to the rest of the North at the start of the year but in contrast, rental prices have remained strong and it was only in September that the market took a downward turn.

Average advertised rents grew steadily during the first month of Q3 2013 before falling during August and September to an average of £625 per month. This figure is the lowest average advertised rent recorded for 12 months having grown from £600 per month last summer to peak at £681 per month between November and December last year.


For further information, please contact:

Sarah Evans Toyne/ Lianne Robinson/ Chiara Barreca, Four Broadgate: / Tel. 020 7726 6111

The copyright and all other intellectual property rights to ‘The Move with Us Residential Rental Index’ are owned by Move with Us plc. Reproduction in whole or part is not permitted unless an acknowledgement that Move with Us are the source is included. No modification is permitted without our prior written consent.

Our methodology has been formulated in conjunction with economic research academics, and is based on the idea that weightings and conditions create a better representation of the market, whilst preventing outlying values from skewing the data.

Our data
The Move with Us Rental Index is based on a weekly snapshot of over 150,000 rental properties advertised on major portals across eleven regions in the UK. This allows us to base our analysis on upwards of 7.8 million data points annually, one of the largest samples available for a rental index. In statistics, it is generally considered that the larger the sample, the more accurate the results.

Our methodology breaks the sample down into different property types recording both the number and average rental prices advertised for each of these. Next we weight the rental values for each region and type using official property surveys from the English, Welsh and Scottish governments. This prevents skewing due to over-representation of certain areas in our own data set. We then run our index against a base date of July 4th, 2011.

Calculating the average
The mean is the most reliable method of calculating average prices, though it can be distorted by outlying data. To prevent this and ensure an accurate average, we have introduced several filters to eliminate noise from the data. We have done this by:

  • Removing properties priced within the highest and lowest 1% of the dataset.
  • Eliminating properties that have been on the market for more than 20 weeks. This ensures that historical data is not over-represented.
  • Introducing a moving average function, which takes into account past and present averages to create a more representative trend.

For more information on our methodology, please contact

About Move with Us:

  • Trusted by the UK’s leading mortgage lenders, house builders and probate practitioners, we are one of the leading residential property experts providing a broad range of services and tools to help consumers and businesses value, manage and sell their properties. The focus of our business is on providing high quality and innovative services to the property industry and consumers. We aim to do property, properly.
  • We are the largest network of independent estate agents in the UK, with around 1,200 members. This ensures that we have access to the best local knowledge across the regions. Through this partner network alone, we manage more than 7,000 moves a year.
  • We work with the best independent, accredited estate agents across the country, providing them with property instructions and conveyancing and moving services that add value, providing their customers with a smooth and efficient move.
  • Move with Us has 12 years plus experience in panel managed conveyancing with more than 100 solicitors nationwide. We manage over 50,000 instructions per annum through our 400 agency partners.
  • Move with Us has 10 years’ experience assisting UK house builders with their part exchange activity and has rapidly grown to become the largest provider of part exchange management services in the UK.
  • We are committed to analysing the housing market, identifying key trends and data to help our clients enjoy success in the current and future property market. Our residential market review is produced every quarter analysing over 3,400 property sales completed by Move with Us with data derived from around 750,000 property listings supplied by
  • Move with Us is home to the UK’s largest Rental Index. Working together with an economist at the London School of Economics and, the Move with Us Rental Index is based on a weekly snapshot of over 150,000 rental properties advertised on major portals across eleven regions in the UK covering England, Wales and Scotland.
  • We provide free, impartial advice and tools to home buyers and sellers in the UK. Our experience spans across all property interests and we specialise in conveyancing, probate, developer, asset management, lender and rental management services.
  • Our significant business growth has been recognised with a number of prestigious awards, including Deloitte’s top 1000 performing business in 2012; Grant Thornton top 100 businesses in Cambridge in 2012; the Telegraph Fast Growth List, 2011; The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 award in 2008, 2009 and 2013 in addition to the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 award in 2005 and 2006.
  • Founded in 1997, we are based in Cambridgeshire, England, and have approximately 300 staff.
  • For further information, please visit: and

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