Private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 5.5% in the 12 months to August 2023, up from 5.3% in the 12 months to July 2023.
Annual private rental prices increased by 5.4% in England, 6.5% in Wales, and 6.0% in Scotland in the 12 months to August 2023.
Within England, London had the highest annual percentage change in private rental prices in the 12 months to August 2023 at 5.9%, while the North East and South West saw the lowest (4.8%).
London's annual percentage change in private rental prices was at its highest annual rate since the London data series began in January 2006.
Private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK increased by 5.5% in the 12 months to August 2023 (provisional estimate), representing the largest annual percentage change since this UK data series began in January 2016.
The UK estimates have a two-month revision period (see Section 7: Measuring the data) so the UK-level estimates for July 2023 and August 2023 are provisional and are subject to revision. All statistics are non-seasonally adjusted estimates, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
The annual inflation rate of private rental prices in the UK began to increase in the second half of 2021 (Figure 1). Annual growth was seen across all regions except London, where prices decreased. The annual percentage change in rents increased across all regions in 2022, including in London, and this has continued during 2023.
In the 12 months to August 2023, rental prices for the UK (excluding London) increased by 5.4% (provisional estimate). This is up from an increase of 5.2% (revised estimate) in the 12 months to July 2023. Private rental prices in London account for almost a third of UK rental expenditure, as shown in our Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: annual weights analysis dataset. Private rental prices in London increased by 5.9% in the 12 months to August 2023, up from an increase of 5.5% in the 12 months to July 2023. This is the highest annual percentage change since the London data series began in January 2006.
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported in their August 2023 UK Residential Market Survey that tenant demand continued to rise. All UK regions and countries have seen a sustained uplift in the demand for rented accommodation in recent months. They also reported a decline in landlord instructions once again. With rising demand and declining supply, RICS noted that rental prices are expected to increase over the upcoming three months.
Supply and demand pressures can take time to be reflected in the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP). This is because the index reflects price changes for all private rental properties, rather than only newly advertised rental properties. Our Measuring rents: stock vs flow blog post explains how we measure price change in the IPHRP.Nôl i'r tabl cynnwys
In England, private rental prices increased by 5.4% in the 12 months to August 2023, up from 5.2% in the 12 months to July 2023. When London is excluded from England, private rental prices increased by 5.2% in the 12 months to August 2023. The figures are the highest annual percentage changes since these data series began in January 2006.
Private rental prices in Wales increased by 6.5% in the 12 months to August 2023. This was the highest of all the countries in Great Britain and little changed from the price increase in the 12 months to July 2023.
The stock measure for the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP) remains substantially below private sector measures of inflation for new tenancies. For example, HomeLet's annual inflation for new tenancies in Wales was 8.2% in the 12 months to August 2023. On a monthly basis, HomeLet reported an increase of 0.5% in August 2023. The recent rise in the IPHRP's annual inflation for Wales likely reflects the increase in annual inflation for new lets over the past year.
Private rental prices in Scotland increased by 6.0% in the 12 months to August 2023, up from 5.7% in the 12 months to July 2023. This is the highest annual percentage change since the Scotland data series began in January 2012. The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Scotland Bill has capped in-tenancy rental price increases in Scotland since late 2022 (described in Section 7: Measuring the data).
The IPHRP's stock measure was 6.0% in the 12 months to August 2023. This remains substantially below HomeLet's annual inflation of 14.4% for new tenancies in Scotland. The continued rise in the IPHRP's annual inflation for Scotland since this bill was passed likely reflects the high annual inflation for new lets (which are not subject to the price cap) over the past year. This is because it feeds into IPHRP's stock measure.
Scotland rents data (underlying the IPHRP's stock measure) is mainly for advertised new lets, which are not subject to the price cap. We advise users to bear this in mind when interpreting estimates for Scotland and comparing with other UK countries.
Private rental prices in Northern Ireland increased by 9.1% in the 12 months to June 2023. The annual rate for Northern Ireland has slowed since the recent peak of 10.0% in the 12 months to March 2023. However, it still remains higher than for other UK countries. Northern Ireland data lag behind the rest of the UK and will be updated in our next Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK bulletin, due to be published on 18 October 2023.
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London's annual rents inflation was 5.9% in the 12 months to August 2023. This was the highest out of all the English regions. The lowest was in the North East and the South West, at 4.8% in the 12 months to August 2023.
Figure 5: London rental prices experienced larger peaks and troughs than other regions
Private rental price percentage change over 12 months, by English region, January 2007 to August 2023
Estimates are not seasonally adjusted.
The grey line shows England's 12-month average rental price percentage change.
Download the dataNôl i'r tabl cynnwys
Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: monthly estimates
Dataset | Released 20 September 2023
Rental price statistics historical data time series (indices and annual percentage change).
Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: annual weights analysis
Dataset | Released 22 March 2023
Aggregate weights information used in the experimental Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP). See our Guide to experimental statistics article for more information.
Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP)
The IPHRP measures the change in the price that tenants face when renting residential property from private landlords.
Administrative data are data that people have already provided to the government through day-to-day activities. Examples include health records, social security payments, and educational attainment information.Nôl i'r tabl cynnwys
The Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP) is created using administrative data. This means that the index makes use of data that are already collected for other purposes to estimate rental prices. The sources of private rental prices are the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE). Data for Northern Ireland also include data provided by Propertynews.
The sources of the annually updated Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: annual weights analysis dataset are the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), Scottish Government, Welsh Government, NIHE and VOA.
The IPHRP's indices are updated on a monthly basis with the new monthly estimate. Data are indexed with January 2015 as a base year. Data are provided for:
England from January 2005
Wales from January 2009
Scotland from January 2011
UK from January 2015
Northern Ireland rental data are not available for the latest two months. To produce provisional estimates of the IPHRP and annual percentage change for the latest two months, Northern Ireland's index has been carried forward. For instance, rental price inflation has been assumed to be 0% for the latest two months. Each subsequent month, updated Northern Ireland data are used to revise estimates for the UK. This means that there is a two-month revision period for the UK series and UK (excluding London) series in the IPHRP.
In England and Wales, data for achieved rents are collected for both new tenancies and existing tenancies. When 12 months have passed following a property's last update, rent officers receive a notification, which supports rent officer aims to revisit previous properties.
In Northern Ireland, rents data are for advertised new lets.
In Scotland, rents data are predominantly for advertised new lets. Data collection procedures do not involve actively seeking to re-collect data for previously collected properties.
In the IPHRP, assumptions on average periods between rent price increases are used to measure price inflation for the stock of rents. IPHRP methodology assumes that rental price remains constant for up to 14 months if updated rental data for that property are not available, and replaces records more than 14 months old.
Since Scotland data are predominantly advertised new lets data, only a small proportion of Scotland data collected are based on existing lets data. This means that replacement data will be predominantly based on newly advertised rents, which are not subject to the price cap. Therefore, price changes for existing tenancies are largely estimated for Scotland.
Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Scotland Bill
The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) Scotland Bill capped in-tenancy rental price increases at 0% (and up to 3% in certain circumstances) until 31 March 2023. On 1 April 2023, this rental price increase cap was increased to 3% (and up to 6% in certain circumstances), as reported on the Scottish Government website. This rental price cap only applies to in-tenancy rent increases, with no restriction on rent increases for new lets.
More information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in our Index of Private Housing Rental Prices Quality and Methodology Information (QMI).
Following the Digital Economy Act 2017, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) gained access to Valuation Office Agency (VOA) private rental microdata. We aim to redevelop the IPHRP and private rental market summary statistics (PRMS) to produce mix-adjusted average rental prices that are comparable over time. We also plan to refine geography to lower geographic levels, to better meet user needs.
An overview of the methodology that we intend to use is available in our Redevelopment of private rental prices statistics, intended methodology. We will now need to spend more time ensuring the production system is developed on a strategic platform and is sustainable. This has resulted in our initial timetable being out of date. More information and a timetable for these developments (updated 6 July 2023) are available in our Private rental prices development plan: updated February 2022. If you have any queries or feedback on these developments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.Nôl i'r tabl cynnwys
The Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP) is constructed using large administrative sources, specified in Section 7: Measuring the data. Annually, over 450,000 private rental prices are collected in England, 30,000 in Wales, 25,000 in Scotland, and 15,000 in Northern Ireland. The index not only measures the change in newly advertised rental prices, but reflects price changes for all private rental properties, including for existing tenancies.
Where collected rents data is predominantly for new lets, compositional differences between rents data and the rental sector will be larger.
The IPHRP is published as price indices, rather than average prices. It is also only published down to a country and regional level. Average rental price levels cannot currently be published in IPHRP because of data access constraints. Our redevelopment of private rental prices statistics work aims to address this.
The IPHRP is released as Experimental Statistics, and subject to revisions if improvements in the methodology are identified. Users should interpret results with this in mind.Nôl i'r tabl cynnwys
Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 20 September 2023, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: August 2023.
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