“Belvoir’s Q1 rental index reveals that contrary to media reports of massive rental increases, the market has remained steady, with many regions still not recovering to 2008 levels,” says Dorian Gonsalves, Belvoir’s Director of Commercial and Franchising.
“Although rents in Yorkshire are now recovering to pre-recession levels, only rents in the South East, South West, West Midlands and London are exceeding the heights achieved in 2008 and it is the London market that has seen the biggest increase.
“In recent months there have been reports of some private London landlords doubling rents, but Belvoir’s analysis of advertised rents in regions across the rest of the UK reveal that the majority of landlords have seen no rental increases in recent years.
“A total of 14 counties, which include Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Dorset have yet to recover to 2008 levels, which is good news for tenants as it means the tough situation of below inflation wage rises has been reflected in their rents.
“Seeking to introduce blanket rental increase caps across the entire UK, combined with other proposed Labour policies such as the banning of tenancy fees, and introducing statutory long-term tenancy agreements is likely to have a huge negative impact on the majority of landlords, who may well be forced to sell up. This will then further reduce the stock of good quality rental properties available to tenants in less wealthy parts of the country where the lettings market is of such vital importance. It will also leave tenants vulnerable to those rogue landlords that Labour seeks to protect them against.
“We are calling for the Government to work with reputable agents such as Belvoir, as well as other industry bodies, to help develop policies that will address the massive divide between rents achieved in London and the South East, whilst reducing the negative impact of these policies on other less affluent parts of the country.”
Belvoir Rental Index Q1 2014 - top 10 report highlights
1. Across England, the average rent for Q1 2014 is £685 per month for offices that have traded consistently over the last five years and is a year on year decrease.
2. The average rent recorded in the UK for all offices, including new ones, for Q1 2014 is £717 per month, being a slight year on year rise.
3. Average rents in Scotland for Q1 2014 were £577, which for the majority of offices is either a small or static, bar Stirling.
4. Across Wales, the average rent for Q1 2014 is £648, a slight 1.5% increase year on year.
5. Demand in Northern Ireland remained strong during Q1 2014 with good stock coming to the market.
6. In Q1 2014, the areas yet to recover to 2008 heights include the North East, East Midlands, East Anglia and North West.
7. The area recovering to 2008 heights in Q1 2014 is Yorkshire.
8. Areas where rents exceed the 2008 heights in Q1 2014 are the South East, South West, West Midlands and London.
9. There are 14 counties where Belvoir has been trading since 2008 that show average rents are yet to recover to the heights of 2008, including Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Dorset.
10. 15 counties have seen rent rises versus heights recorded in 2008, including Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Wiltshire. Rents in two counties, Essex and North Yorkshire, are on a par with the 2008 level
• Belvoir Lettings now have 160 offices nationwide. To find your nearest Belvoir office, visit their website at www.belvoirlettings.com (http://www.belvoirlettings.com)
NOTES TO EDITORS
· Belvoir was founded in February 1995 by Mike and Stephanie Goddard. Its Central Office is in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
· Mike was chairman of the bfa for three consecutive years and is currently CEO of Belvoir. Dorian Gonsalves currently sits on the board of The Property Ombudsman.
· Belvoir is recognised as one of the largest specialist lettings agency franchises in the UK, with 150+ offices nationwide and aims to have 200 franchises in the next three years.
· Belvoir was officially awarded the Best Lettings Agency Franchise – Gold Award at the 2013, 2012 and 2010 Lettings Agency of the Year Awards in association with The Sunday Times & The Times. Belvoir also won the Silver Award in 2011.
· Belvoir won the Gold Award for Best Large Lettings Chain at the Estate & Letting Agent Awards (ESTAS) 2013 and Silver in 2014. Belvoir has won Brand Builder of the Year at the bfa Franchisor of the Year Awards 2011 and Best Marketing Campaign of the Year at the Franchise Marketing Association (FMA) Awards 2011.
· Belvoir is a founder member of the SAFEagent Kitemark scheme, which is fully supported by NALS. SAFEagent promotes client money protection (CMP) and provides consumers with a clear message on those agents they should do business with.
· Belvoir successfully listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange on 21st February, 2012.
For further information or to arrange an interview with Dorian Gonsalves please contact Andrea McHugh, Headlines Journalism, tel: 01476 567438/07940 930 331