UK rental value shifts from urban to rural areas in Q3

UK rents increased in rural areas and fell sharply in some cities over the summer as more tenants looked to relocate from towns to countryside, according to analysis from the Deposit Protection Service (DPS).

Data from the latest DPS quarterly Rent Index showed increased demand for rural and larger properties as well as lower demand for urban properties and flats during the third quarter of the year.

Across the UK, the DPS found that average rents dipped by £2 (-0.26%) to £780 during Q3.

The data also showed that flats fell on average by £5 (-0.63%) to £795, while rents rose for detached, semi-detached and terraced properties. UK tenants paid an average 31.08% of their average £30,353 annual wages on rent during the last quarter.

The DPS managing director, Matt Trevett, commented: “Our latest Rent Index clearly shows that tenants are following homeowners in reconsidering city living and moving to the countryside.

“The prevalence of home working seems to be causing many urban renters to reassess their priorities, including a new desire for increased indoor and outside space. Greater demand for both rural and larger properties seems to have driven rent prices up while urban property and flats have become cheaper for tenants.”

Zephyr Homeloans, which like The DPS forms part of the Computershare Group, suggested the latest figures from the DPS illustrate how quickly the coronavirus pandemic has influenced tenant behaviour.

“Landlords are looking strategically at their portfolios to maximise yields, which, along with the government’s decision to suspend stamp duty on the first £500,000 on all property sales until the end of March, is adding to increased activity in the buy-to-let mortgage market,” added Zephyr managing director, Paul Fryers.

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