Rents for new tenants appeared to drop across the UK, including London, last month – but seasonal variations were entirely responsible, Landlord Today reports.
Referencing company HomeLet said that it was because more students had checked in to rental properties.
Nevertheless, it meant that the average cost of renting a home in greater London dropped for the first time this year, to an average of £1,158 per month.
However, despite the drop in rents, the cost of living in a rented home in London is still nearly 9% higher than the same time last year, and 23% more than in October 2009.
The average cost of renting a home in the UK also reduced from September to October by 2.5% to £763 per month, which is still over 4% higher than the same time last year.
There were only two out of 11 regions where there was an increase in average rental amounts between October and September – Wales and East Anglia.
John Boyle, managing director of HomeLet, said: “We do normally see a seasonal dip in actual rental prices at this time of year due to the amount of students being referenced.
“At a first glance the drop in rents would appear to be good news for tenants, however, when we see how expensive it is to live in a rented property compared to last year.
“With average rents rising at a much higher rate than average incomes, budgets are really being stretched, and if rental amounts increase as much in early 2012 as they have done in previous years, then renting may become unaffordable for an increasing number of people, particularly in London.” Source: Landlord Today.
September and October were busy months for landlords as hundreds of thousands of students from the UK and abroad started courses, although the trend shows a sharp reduction in expected numbers for next year.
UK University applications for 2012 are running at 9% below last year’s level, says the UCAS admissions service.
The Universities UK action group issued a warning last week about Britain’s reputation in education after new figures revealed that the government’s curb on overseas students had reduced their numbers by 11,000 and led to more than 450 colleges pulling out of the market.
The Home Office said more than 400 of the pre-degree colleges ‘lost their right’ to recruit international students because they could not meet the standards of a new inspection regime.
English UK, an association representing 450 language colleges, has demanded an apology from the Home Office claiming their remarks implied institutions were fronts for illegal immigration.
UK University (UKUS), the free student placement service said that the figures confirm what the market already knows. International students are turning away from British Universities and colleges and choosing countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
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