Rents up to a record high of £774 a month

Rent agreement

Private rents across England and Wales have reached a record high average of £774 a month.

Monthly rents were up 4.6% in April compared to the same time last year - the fastest annual increase since November 2010 - while they grew by 0.8% between March and April too.

The figures, compiled by estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, will come as no surprise to the millions of renters who are struggling to save enough money to afford a deposit.

The research found that those in the east of England are facing the biggest increases. Compared to April 2014, rents have risen in the region by 12.5% over the past year to £810 a month. That rate of growth has accelerated from 12% in the year to March 2015 and 10.2% in the 12 months to February 2015.

Those in London saw the second biggest annual increase of 7.8% in April 2015, compared to an annual increase of 5% in the year to March and 4.9% in that to February.

Shortage of housing

Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move, said the figures were down to the UK's chronic lack of housing.

"Rents are going skywards and are still accelerating. That momentum is fuelled by a fundamental shortage of housing and given oxygen by renewed wage growth.

"This should be a loud and clear signal to the authorities that home building is more than just manifesto fodder. People have more money in their pockets but we are in danger of seeing that recovery squandered away on a housing shortage."

Meanwhile, a new report from homeless charity Shelter claims that the number of home-owning young adults could fall by 50% over the course of the next parliament if current trends continue and nothing is done to address the housing shortage.

Homeownership among 25- to 34-year-olds has dropped form 1.8 million to 1.2 million over the past decade, and Shelter suggests that the figure would drop to a paltry 616,600 by 2020 if action isn't taken.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "It's hard to fathom that in this day and age, when the solution to our housing crisis is so blatantly clear, millions of renters across are being hung out to dry with no hope of a stable future.

"With sky high rents, instability and homes that are often in poor condition, it's clear that private renting in England is often no place to call home."


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