Landlords are asking for a record high rent of £1,172 per month, according to property portal Rightmove, as experts warn rents will keep on rising.
Rent in the capital also reached a record average high of £2,480 a month in the fourth quarter of last year, with inner London rents surpassing £3,000 for the first time, according to latest figures.
Last year saw the second-highest annual rent growth ever recorded, with average rents for newly listed properties up 9.7pc outside London. This comes after 2021 saw the largest year-on-year increase of 9.9pc.
In further bad news for renters, Rightmove predicts that asking rents across Britain will rise a further 5pc in 2023 because of the ongoing imbalance between the number of those looking to rent and the number of rental properties available.
Although there are signs that competition between tenants has begun to ease, with available properties to rent in December up 13pc compared with the same period the previous year, the predicted rise in rents will nonetheless far outstrip the pre-pandemic average.
Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: “Although the fierce competition among tenants to find a home is starting to ease, it is still double the level it was back in 2019.
“Letting agents are seeing extremely high volumes of tenant enquiries and dealing with tens of potential tenants for each available property.”
Mr Bannister added: “There appears to be some more property choice for renters compared to the record low levels of last year which would slightly ease the fierce competition to secure a home.
“This is why we’re forecasting that the pace of annual growth will ease to around 5pc by the end of the year nationally, although this would still significantly exceed the average of 2pc that we saw during the five years before the pandemic.”
Competition has dropped by a third since the peak in September of last year, when the gap between rental stock and tenant demand was at its most acute, and is down 6pc compared with last year.
Wales and the South West have seen the biggest increases in properties to rent, with rises of 15pc and 13pc respectively. In these areas, asking rents have consequently dropped by 1pc, the first quarterly drop in any region since the beginning of 2021.
However, in the South East, four property ‘hotspots’ have seen annual rental price rises in excess of 15pc. In High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, average asking rent has soared 20pc from Q4 2021, to £1,281 per month.
The number of properties to rent nationally remains down 38pc compared with 2019, and the number enquiring about a rental property is 53pc higher.
James Redington of Douglas & Gordon, an independent London property agent, said: “There is no sign of the rental market slowing down due to the continuing imbalance between supply and demand.”
“We’ve seen the highest rent increases we’ve seen for decades, and we don’t expect this to slow down in the short term.”