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Average rents in the UK rents increased by 0.56% in 2017 to £1,196 but fell in London and nationally were flat month on month, the latest buy to let index shows.

The biggest annual growth was in Wales with a rise of 1.36% taking average rents to £643, followed by Scotland with a rise of 1.18% to £729. Rents were up 0.75% in Northern Ireland to £563 and by 0.5% in England to £1,227.

If London is excluded than UK rents increased by 1.29% to £759, according to the Landbay index. And it shows that the only place where rents fell year on year was in London with a drop of 0.8% to an average rent of £1,872.

Month on month rents were either flat or fell in December. There was a marginal 0.01% rise in England, a fall of 0.12% in Northern Ireland, a fall of 0.1% in Scotland, a fall of 0.06% in both London and Wales. UK wide rents were flat on a monthly basis but if London is excluded they increased by 0.03%.

A breakdown of the figures show that commuter towns around London have seen some of the biggest rises in rents. Some 17 out of the 40 towns ranked as the most popular London commuter hotspots have seen rents rise.

They have increased in these towns by 1.68% in the 12 months to December 2017, led by a rise of 2.06% in Cambridge and a rise of 1.58% in Brighton. But some commuter areas have seen annual rents fall, most notably Guildford, Reigate and Woking with a decline of 0.73%.

Landbay suggests that there are now signs that demand for low rent accommodation by longer distance commuters to London is pushing up rents in these areas. Some 31 of the 40 most popular commuter routes have seen rents rise by more than the UK average of 0.56%, and by as much as 2.15% in Southend on Sea and 2.06% in Cambridgeshire.

Only Slough, Buckinghamshire and Surrey have seen rents fall with declines of 0.04%, 0.31% and 0.73% respectively while Reading and Bracknell Forest have seen sub-average growth at 0.03% and 0.05% respectively.

According to John Goodall, Landbay chief executive officer, at a time when rents in London are falling, some people living in commuter towns may even be considering a move into London.

Source: Property Wire

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