The average asking rents have hit a record of £1,172 across the UK, with new tenants being asked £2,480 in London.
Property site Rightmove said this further rise means average rents for newly listed properties rose by 9.7% in 2022 compared with the previous year, which is the second largest year on record for rent growth behind only 2021 when they increased by 11%.
The typical private rent being asked within London also hit a record high of £2,480 a month, Rightmove said. Average asking rents in inner London surpassed £3,000 per month for the first time, hitting £3,010.
One of the biggest frustrations for both tenants and agents has been the lack of available properties. Though it is early days, Rightmove said there are signs that this may be starting to ease compared to the record low levels of last year.
The number of available properties to rent in December was 13% higher than the same period the previous year. New properties coming up for rent were also up 5% in December compared with December 2021, while the number of tenants looking for a property to rent is 7% higher over the same period.
Rightmove’s director of property science Tim Bannister said: “Although the fierce competition among tenants to find a home is starting to ease, it is still double the level it was back in 2019. Letting agents are seeing extremely high volumes of tenant inquiries and dealing with tens of potential tenants for each available property.
“Landlords will need to balance any rent rises with what tenants can afford to pay in their local area, to continue to find tenants quickly and avoid any periods where their home is empty due to tenants not being able to meet the asking rent.
Competition between tenants for the properties available has dropped by 6% compared with this time last year, and by a third (33%) compared with the peak in September, when the gap between supply and demand was at a record high.
Simon Leigh, director at Hackney & Leigh estate and letting agents, said: “The rental market remains buoyant, and the majority of our landlords are still receiving multiple applications on their properties.
“Rents have remained stable, due in part to the cautious approach from landlords when considering rent increases at renewal stage, preferring to retain good tenants rather than have even a small void period, or incur the associated costs.”
Read more: Where are the UK's cheapest rental homes?
The site predicts average asking rents across Britain for newly available properties will rise a further 5% in 2023, unless there is a significant addition of available homes to rent.
James Redington, sales and lettings director at Douglas & Gordon, said: “We’ve seen the highest rent increases we’ve seen for decades, and we don’t expect this to slow down in the short-term.”
Wales and the South West have seen the biggest jumps in new properties to rent regionally, which has led to a slight drop in respective average asking rents of 1%. This is a first quarterly drop in average asking rents for any region since the beginning of 2021.