Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: October 2021

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 Ceri Lewis

Release date:
17 November 2021

Next release:
15 December 2021

1. Main points

  • Private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 1.5% in the 12 months to October 2021, up from 1.3% in the 12 months to September 2021.

  • Private rental prices grew by 1.5% in England, 1.2% in Wales and 1.6% in Scotland in the 12 months to October 2021.

  • The South West saw the highest annual growth in private rental prices (3.0%), while London saw the lowest (0.1%).

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2. UK private rental prices

Private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK increased by 1.5% in the 12 months to October 2021.

Growth in private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK remained broadly flat between November 2019 and the end of 2020. The beginning of 2021 saw a slowdown in rental price growth, which was driven by prices in London.

In the 12 months to October 2021, rental prices for the UK excluding London increased by 2.2%, up from an increase of 2.1% in September 2021. London private rental prices increased by 0.1% in the 12 months to October 2021, up from a decrease of 0.3% in September 2021, representing the first positive annual growth in London since April 2021.

London’s rental price growth in October 2021 (0.1%) remains the lowest of any of the English regions. This reflects a decrease in demand, such as remote working shifting housing preferences, meaning workers no longer need to be close to their offices. It also reflects an increase in supply, such as an excess supply of rental properties as short-term lets change to long-term lets. Further commentary on these movements can be found in Section 4 of our Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: March 2021 bulletin.

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) reported in their Private Rented Sector Report, September 2021 that members reported a record high of average number of prospective tenants, breaking the September 2020 record. The number of tenants experiencing rent increases fell slightly from 79% in August to 75% in September.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS’) August 2021 Residential Market Survey reported that tenant demand accelerated in August, reporting an increase in enquires since the previous month.

These supply and demand pressures can take time to feed through to the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP), which reflects price changes for all private rental properties rather than only newly advertised rental properties.

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3. UK private rental growth rates by country

In England, private rental prices grew by 1.5% in the 12 months to October 2021, representing the highest 12-month growth rate since September 2020. When London is excluded from England, privately rented properties increased by 2.3% in the 12 months to October 2021, up from an increase of 2.2% in September 2021.

Private rental prices in Wales grew by 1.2% in the 12 months to October 2021, unchanged since August 2021.

Rental growth in Scotland grew by 1.6% in the 12 months to October 2021, unchanged since August 2021.

The annual rate of change for Northern Ireland in October 2021 (4.3%) was higher than the other countries of the UK. Northern Ireland data have been copied forward since June 2021; the next update to Northern Ireland data will be in the release published on 15 December 2021.

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4. UK private rental growth by English region

Focusing on the English regions, the largest annual rental price increase in the 12 months to October 2021 was in the South West at 3.0%.

The lowest annual rental price growth was in London, where rental prices increased by 0.1% in the 12 months to October 2021.

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 October 2021

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Notes:

  1. The light blue line shows England’s 12-month average private rental price growth.
Download the data

.xlsx

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5. Private rental data

Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: monthly estimates
Dataset | Released 17 November 2021
Rental price index historical data time series (index values and annual percentage change).

Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: annual weights analysis
Dataset | Released 24 March 2021
Aggregate weights information used in the experimental Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP).

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.

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6. Glossary

Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP)

The Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP) measures the change in the price 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.

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7. Measuring the data

Consultation on the Code of Practice for Statistics – proposed change to 9.30am release practice

On behalf of the UK Statistics Authority, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) is conducting a consultation on the Code of Practise for Statistics, proposing changes to the 9.30am release practise. Please email comments by 21 December 2021 to: regulation@statistics.gov.uk.

Coronavirus

We are working to ensure that the UK has the vital information needed to respond to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on our economy and society. This includes how we measure the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP). The price collection for this publication has not been affected.

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 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.

While we have been working hard to finalise the 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 the Private rental prices development plan: January 2021. If you have any queries or feedback on these developments, please email hpi@ons.gov.uk.

Sources

The IPHRP is constructed 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. Estimates are based on a known sample rather than a census.

The sources of the annually updated Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: annual weights analysis dataset are the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), 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 quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices QMI.

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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 does not only measure 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 an Experimental Statistic, and is subject to revisions if improvements in the methodology are identified. Results should be interpreted with this in mind.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Ceri Lewis
hpi@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 1633 456400