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Written by Matthew Lane

The gap between the growth rate of the London and nationwide rental markets is starting to narrow, according to new findings from the HomeLet Rental Index. This comes after a period of rent price rises in the capital outstripping the rest of the UK by some distance. 
Whilst average rent prices in London have stayed still in the three months to February 2015, other areas of the country have mostly seen prices rising. The average rent in the UK is currently £899, compared to £889 at the end of January 2015, and £873 in December 2014.
Seven out of twelve regions in the UK have witnessed rent prices go up in the three months to February 2015, with the North East and South West of England leading the pack, seeing price growth of 3.1% and 2.5% respectively. 
Growth was also seen in East Anglia, the North West of England, Northern Ireland, the South East of England and Yorkshire & Humber. On the other hand, HomeLet’s figures showed that prices have not grown in Greater London and the West Midlands. They have also dropped in Wales, Scotland and the East Midlands. 
Looking at purely new tenancies starting in the month of February 2015, prices have risen since January 2015 in a number of regions. Northern Ireland rose by 7.2%, the North East of England rose by 6.2%, the South West of England by 4.5%, and East Anglia by 3.7%.
Conversely, rents agreed on new tenancies in London in February 2015 fell by 2.5% compared to the previous month, while Scotland, the East Midlands and Wales all saw prices agreed on new tenancies fall in February 2015 compared to January 2015.
“The rent price growth seen in London during much of 2014 now appears to be slowing,” Martin Totty, CEO of Barbon Insurance Group, parent company of HomeLet, said.
“However, a recent survey we conducted with London letting agents has shown that demand for private rental property remains high and still outstrips supply, with 80% of agents saying there are more tenants than properties available.”


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