Good news for landlords as Northern Ireland rents rise by 2.9%
Northern Ireland rents are rising faster than inflation with a 2.9% increase in 12 months to £639 per month.
But according to the HomeLet Index of private rents, the average in Northern Ireland was down 2.1% on October's £653 per month. There was also a slight fall in monthly rents in November across the UK compared to October.
The average rent in the UK is now £918 - up by 1.5% on the same time last year. But it decreased by 1.1% between October and November.
When London is excluded, the average rent in the UK is now £760, which is up by 0.9% on last year. Average rents in London are now £1,597, up by 4.4% on last year.
The largest year-on-year increase this month was Greater London, showing a 4.4% difference between November 2017 and last month.
Of 12 UK regions, Northern Ireland comes around the middle of the rankings. But at 2.9%, its rate of increase is above the latest inflation rate of 2.2%. It's now more expensive to rent in the private sector here than in five other regions, including Scotland, at £635, and Wales at £599, while the cheapest region to rent in is the North East, at £517 per month.
Estate agent Simon Brien of Simon Brien Residential said demand was strong in the rental sector here, with Brexit and the lack of an Executive failing to have any effect on people's desire to move house. He said: "We're not seeing any downturn in demand, and if anything, stock is becoming a bit of an issue."
He said that 60 Victoria Square Shopping Centre apartments on the agency's books were now fully let, with monthly rents of £750 for a one-bed, £895 for a two-bed and £950 for a three bed. Mr Brien said high-quality accommodation was in demand. "Clients are becoming much more discerning," he said.
Martin Totty, chief executive at property analysts HomeLet, said: "Although on the increase, on average UK rents are rising slower than inflation at just 1.5%.
"However, there are some areas of the country showing more extreme variance. London rents are continuing to rise at nearly double the rate of inflation, having seen a 4.4% increase. Meanwhile, Yorkshire and Humberside has seen the greatest decrease in the last 12 months. Despite a modest 0.4% rise since October 2018, the region's annual variance is negative 3%."