21st January 2019

Renting in London forecast:Brexit uncertainty set to push average rents up faster than house prices by 2023

A combination of Brexit uncertainty, crippling deposits, reluctant buyers and a surge in expensive build-to-rent homes will push rents up faster than house prices.

Rental rises are set to outstrip house price growth over the next five years as wages recover but financial confidence remains fragile.

Tenants will face a 15.9 per cent rise in rents in London by 2023 compared to house price growth of 4.5 per cent over the same period of time, according to property group Savills.

Rents set by private landlords are naturally capped by wage growth and affordability levels. After the global financial crisis house prices bounced back dramatically as global cash poured into the capital, while rents edged up slowly tracking sluggish earnings.

This will switch over the next five years and Britain, led by London, will see rental growth outpace property price inflation.

Rents will rise by 11.5 per cent across the UK over the next half decade and 15.9 per cent in the capital, the Savills data shows.

Why renting is becoming more popular — and how this contributes to higher rents

High house prices

The housing market is undergoing a fundamental structural shift as renting becomes more commonplace.

The uncertainty of Brexit, the eye-watering deposits needed to buy a house, cautious lending and the burden of stamp duty costs mean many people are struggling to get on the ladder and will instead continue to rent.

After the Brexit deadline in March, wages are forecast to grow by 16 per cent over five years as employers tentatively invest in staff. This uplift, in combination with the extra demand, will drive up rents.

How Brexit uncertainty will impact renters

“Amidst a volatile political and economic landscape, the hesitance of buyers and sellers to act is completely understandable,” says John Goodall, co-founder of buy-to-let specialist Landbay.

“As we wait to see how Brexit uncertainty unravels, the private rental sector will play a more important economic role than ever as it provides flexibility and value to renters and landlords alike.”

Ryan Prince of UNCLE agrees: “We think rents are actually likely to rise further, particularly in London, for two main reasons – firstly, confidence in buying will remain low due to Brexit and a lack of new construction stemming from its implications.

“Young people in particular will re-think their approach to housing and taking on financial risks like a 95 per cent mortgage.”