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Living large – rents for larger homes spiked in Q4 2020

UK rent levels continued to rise faster for larger properties during the last quarter of 2020, according to The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS).

Its latest quarterly Rent Index, which is based on 1.8 million current tenancies, shows that the average monthly cost of renting a detached property in the UK between October and December 2020 was £1,055 – 2.83% more than in the previous quarter and 5.71% more than Q4 2019.

Average rent for semi-detached homes increased to £847 in Q4 2020 – 2.29% more than in Q3 and 4.05% more than in the same period the previous year.


While the rate of increase in the cost of renting a flat rose faster in Q4 than earlier in the year, it grew at a much slower rate than larger properties, reaching £803 – 1.01% more than in Q3 and 1.13% more than in Q4 2019.

Matt Trevett, managing director at The DPS, says: “Lockdown has meant many more people are spending longer at home, including far more extensive remote working, and as a consequence more tenants are seeking larger properties with more space.” 

“While there seems to be a particular focus on detached and semi-detached properties, the rental market as a whole remained remarkably resilient throughout much of 2020, despite broader economic uncertainties and restrictions that affected home viewings and public movement during the first national lockdown.”

Which region saw declining rents?

Rents in London continued to drop during Q4, standing at £1,317 – 0.38% lower than in Q3 and 2.08% less than the previous year.

This drop was biggest in Central London, where average rent was £1,377 in Q4 2020 – 1.01% less than Q3 2020 and 3.77% less than the same period in 2019.

Unsurprisingly, the capital remains proportionately the most expensive area to rent, with costs standing at 39% of average UK income.

Two other regions experienced a decline in average rent between Q3 and Q4 2020 – the North East, where it fell 1.70% to £520, and Yorkshire, which saw a fall of 2.15% to £546.

The North East remained the cheapest region during Q4 2020, with rents 23% of the average UK income.


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