Experts have expressed concern for the West Midlands as one of the only areas in the UK to see yet another rent increase this month. Costs have risen by another +0.5%, whereas in London they’ve dropped by as much as -2.2%.

The HomeLet Rental Index, which is released monthly and analyses archived rents to paint a general picture of the UK market, has revealed that across the UK in general, costs decreased by -0.6% in January; the third drop in a row.

It’s not only this month that is causing alarm amongst experts, rent prices have risen in the West Midlands by +9.25% in the last 12 months, and by +19.3% in two years, an equivalent of £153pcm more in rent fees.

Furthermore, the West Midlands’s renters are forking out 30.9% of their wages on their rent, a +2% escalation on last year alone.

Professionals believe this is not concurrent with wage increases, leaving many more out of pocket now than they were in a post-Covid Britain.

Commenting on the latest data, Andy Halstead, HomeLet & Let Alliance Chief Executive Officer has mixed feelings, saying: “We would be enthusiastic about the rent decreases across Britain, but regions such as the West Midlands illustrate why this optimism is often misplaced.

“Short-term wins (basically, the monthly rent drops) sadly do not repair the long-term damage the country has been saddled with since the cost of living crisis came to fruition. Though many regions have been spared this month, the West Midlands is still feeling the pinch and our data analyst experts sadly predict the story will be the same across the UK by the end of the year. Costs could increase by as much as 10%, we predict.

“Unless we see some dramatic changes to the economy, 2024 looks set to bring more of the same. Landlords will have to do battle with a familiar array of struggles, including rising costs and prohibitively expensive buy-to-let mortgage rates.

“I’ll be keeping a keen eye on the Spring Budget next month, to see what kind of support will be offered to the midlands’ renters and landlords. There’s speculation of a 99% mortgage offer being put on the table, which could encourage more buy-to-let purchases. But will that help the rental market, or hinder it? Only time will tell.”

The full breakdown of rent increases, variances and rent-to-income ratios can be found on the HomeLet website. The HomeLet Rental Index provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date data on rental values in the UK. The trends reported within the HomeLet Rental Index are from data on actual achieved rental values for just-agreed tenancies arranged in the most recent period – providing an in-depth insight into the lettings market and what’s happening right now across the UK.