Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: December 2022

An experimental price index tracking the prices paid for renting property from private landlords in the UK. Includes measures of owner occupiers’ housing costs.

This is the latest release. View previous releases

Contact:
Email Aimee North

Release date:
18 January 2023

Next release:
15 February 2023

1. Main Points

  • Private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 4.2% in the 12 months to December 2022, up from 4.0% in the 12 months to November 2022.

  • Annual private rental prices increased by 4.1% in England, 3.5% in Wales and 4.4% in Scotland in the 12 months to December 2022.

  • Within England, the East Midlands saw the highest annual percentage change in private rental prices in the 12 months to December 2022 (5.0%), while the North East and the South East saw the lowest (3.8%).

  • London's annual percentage change in private rental prices was 4.0% in the 12 months to December 2022, which means that London is no longer the English region with the lowest annual percentage change.

Back to table of contents

2. UK private rental prices

Private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK increased by 4.2% in the 12 months to December 2022, representing the largest annual percentage change since this UK series began in January 2016.

The annual change in UK private rental prices paid by tenants remained steady between November 2019 and the end of 2020. The annual percentage change in rents slowed in early 2021, which was driven by the slowdown, and later reduction, of London rental prices. This may have reflected lower demand in London because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For example, remote working meant workers no longer needed to live close to offices, and housing preferences changed.

Private rental prices in the UK increased in late 2021, with widespread annual growth across all regions except London, where prices decreased. The annual percentage change in rents has increased across all regions in 2022, including in London.

In the 12 months to December 2022, rental prices for the UK (excluding London) increased by 4.3%, up from an increase of 4.2% in November 2022. Private rental prices in London increased by 4.0% in the 12 months to December 2022, up from an increase of 3.5% in November 2022. This is the strongest annual percentage change in London since November 2015.

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) produced mixed reports on supply and demand in the private rental sector. ARLA state in their Housing Insight Report that the rise in supply over demand has reduced pressure on rents. RICS reported in their UK Residential Market Survey that tenant demand continues to rise, while the flow of fresh supply becoming available on the rental market continues to dwindle. Consequently, the ongoing misalignment between rising demand and falling supply continues to exert upward pressure on rents.

Supply and demand pressures can take time to feed through to the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP). This is because the IPHRP 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.

Back to table of contents

3. Annual UK private rental price percentage change by country

In England, private rental prices increased by 4.1% in the 12 months to December 2022. When London is excluded from England, private rental prices increased by 4.2% in the 12 months to December 2022. Both of these figures reflect the highest annual percentage change since this England series began in January 2006.

Private rental prices in Wales increased by 3.5% in the 12 months to December 2022. This is up from an increase of 3.1% in November 2022, and is the highest annual percentage change since this Wales series began in January 2010.

Private rental prices in Scotland increased by 4.4% in the 12 months to December 2022, unchanged from the previous month of November 2022. This is the highest annual percentage change since this Scotland series began in January 2012.

The annual percentage change for Northern Ireland in December 2022 was 9.6%. This was higher than the other countries of the UK. Northern Ireland data have been carried forward since October 2022. Northern Ireland data will be updated in our Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK bulletin to be published on 15 February 2023.

Back to table of contents

4. Annual UK private rental price percentage change by English region

Focusing on the English regions, the largest annual rental price percentage change in the 12 months to December 2022 was in the East Midlands at 5.0%. The East Midlands was the region where private rental prices were rising at the fastest annual rate throughout 2022.

Of English regions, the lowest annual rental price percentage change in the 12 months to December 2022 was in the North East and the South East, both at 3.8%.

Figure 6: London rental prices experienced larger peaks and troughs than other regions

Index of Private Housing Rental Prices percentage change over 12 months, by English region, January 2007 to December 2022
Embed code
Notes:
  1. The grey line shows England's 12-month average rental price percentage change
Download the data

.xlsx

Back to table of contents

5. Private rental data

Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: monthly estimates
Dataset | Released 18 January 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 23 March 2022
Aggregate weights information used in the experimental Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP). See our Guide to experimental statistics article for more information.

Measures of owner occupiers' housing costs
Dataset | Released 24 March 2021
Monthly historical time series for all three approaches to measuring owner occupiers' housing costs – payments, rental equivalence and net acquisitions – including contributions to growth from the different approaches, UK.

Measures of owner occupiers' housing costs: weights analysis
Dataset | Released 24 March 2021
Aggregate inflation measure for owner occupiers' housing costs (OOH). Includes monthly time series and weights for all three approaches of measuring OOH - payments, rental equivalence and net acquisitions – aggregated with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), UK.

Back to table of contents

6. Glossary

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

Administrative data are data that people have already provided to the government through day-to-day activities, for example, health records, social security payments or educational attainment information.

Back to table of contents

7. Measuring the data

Economic statistics governance after Brexit

More information regarding the new governance following UK's exit from the EU is available in our previous release.

Future developments

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 Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP) and private rental market summary statistics (PRMS) to produce mix-adjusted average rental prices that are comparable over time. We also aim 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 article, The 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 an updated timetable for these developments is available in our Private rental prices development plan: updated February 2022. If you have any queries or feedback on these developments, please email hpi@ons.gov.uk.

Sources

The 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 VOA, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE). Data for Northern Ireland also include data provided by Propertynews.com.

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 for England are provided from January 2005, data for Wales from January 2009, and data for Scotland from January 2011. UK data are from January 2015.

Quality

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).

Back to table of contents

8. Strengths and limitations

Strengths

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.

Limitations

The IPHRP is published as price indices, rather than average prices. It is also only published down to a country and regional level. While actual rental prices cannot currently be published in the IPHRP because of data access constraints, we are actively working to acquire the necessary data.

The IPHRP is released as Experimental Statistics, and is subject to revisions if improvements in the methodology are identified. Results should be interpreted with this in mind.

Back to table of contents

10. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 18 January 2023, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: December 2022.

Back to table of contents

Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Aimee North
hpi@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 1633 456400