Private rental market summary statistics in England: October 2022 to September 2023

Median monthly rental prices for the private rental market in England, calculated using data from the Valuation Office Agency.

This is the latest release. View previous releases

20 December 2023

We currently produce the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP) and the Private Rental Market Summary statistics in England (PRMS). We aim to replace these with the Price Index of Private Rents (PIPR) in March 2024 to produce a single monthly publication that provides more detailed insight into the UK rental market. Therefore, this is the final PRMS publication.

Contact:
Email Aimee North

Release date:
20 December 2023

Next release:
To be announced

1. Main points

  • The median monthly rent was £850 for England, recorded between October 2022 and September 2023; this is the highest ever recorded.

  • London had the highest median monthly rent at £1,625; this is nearly double the median monthly rent for England.

  • The North East had the lowest median monthly rent at £550.

  • The difference in median monthly rental price between the most and least expensive local authorities was £2,146.

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2. Rent prices in England

Figure 1: Median monthly private rental prices increase with number of bedrooms

Median and interquartile range of monthly rents by bedroom categories, England, 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023

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Private rental prices increased with property size

The median monthly rent in England was £850. The property size with the highest median monthly rent was for properties with four or more bedrooms (£1,550). Single rooms had the lowest median monthly rent of all property sizes, at £495.

The difference in median monthly rents between studios (£671) and single rooms (£495) could have been driven by high volumes of data in the sample of studios located in London and the South East (representing just under half of the sample size).

The interquartile range increased with property size. The spread of rents was greatest for the “four or more bedrooms” category because of the inclusion of very large properties. The correspondingly higher rents of these large properties drove the sharp increase in both median rent and spread of rents in this category compared with three-bedroom properties.

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3. Rent prices by region

Figure 2: Median monthly private rental price was highest in London

Median and interquartile range of monthly rents for all bedroom categories, by region, 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023

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Private rental prices were higher in London than any other region

Rental prices and the spread of rents tended to be higher in the southern regions of England than in the Midlands and northern regions.

The median monthly rent was highest in London at £1,625, which is £575 higher than the next largest median rent, which was £1,050 in the South East. The median monthly rent for the North East was £550; this is the lowest of all regions.

London rents had the greatest range of prices of all regions. This is because rent prices in Inner London tend to be higher than for Outer London. The median monthly rent for Inner London was £1,900 compared with £1,445 for Outer London.

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4. Local authority analysis

Figure 3: The difference in median monthly rental price between the most and least expensive local authorities was £2,146

Median monthly private rental price in England, by local authorities and bedroom category, 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023

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There was a varied distribution in the prices that tenants paid for private housing across local authorities.

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Users should note that samples at local authority level, even for the “all” bedroom category, can be small. Therefore, the median monthly rents may be less reliable because of the sample size (for more information, see the Sampling subsection of Section 8: Strengths and limitations).

Most expensive local authority: Westminster

The highest median monthly rent in England was within Inner London in Westminster (£2,622). The lowest median monthly rent within Inner London was in Lewisham (£1,425). For Outer London, the highest median monthly rent was in Richmond upon Thames (£1,664) and the lowest median monthly rent was in Sutton (£1,200).

Least expensive local authority: Burnley

The local authority with the lowest median monthly rent in England was £476 in Burnley in the North West. The region with the lowest median monthly rent in England was the North East, where the median monthly rent was £550. Within the North East, the local authority with the highest median monthly rent was Newcastle upon Tyne (£795), while the lowest median monthly rent was County Durham (£498).

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5. Private rental market, England data

Private rental market summary statistics in England
Dataset | Released 20 December 2023
Median monthly rental prices for the private rental market in England by bedroom category, region and administrative area, calculated using data from the Valuation Office Agency and Office for National Statistics.

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6. Glossary

Bedroom category

There are six bedroom categories, including:

  • room: this is a non-self-contained single room with shared facilities, including bedsits, single rooms in a house or flat shared with other tenants, and single rooms rented from a resident landlord

  • studio: this is a self-contained single-roomed property with its own kitchen and bath, shower or water closet (WC) facilities

  • one to four or more bedrooms: these are self-contained properties with one to four or more bedrooms, including houses, bungalows, flats and maisonettes

Interquartile range

The interquartile range is the difference between the lower and upper quartile, representing the middle 50% of values.

Local authorities

Shires, metropolitan districts, the Council of the Isles of Scilly, unitary authorities, London boroughs and the City of London are local authorities.

Lower and upper quartile

When a series of numbers are arranged by size, the lower quartile (or 25th percentile) is the value that splits the lowest 25% of the data from the highest 75%. The upper quartile (or 75th percentile) is the value that splits the highest 25% of the data from the lowest 75%.

Region

A region is a geographic unit formerly referred to as a Government Office Region (GOR). From 1 April 2011, the term GOR was dropped in favour of region.

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7. Measuring the data

Methodology

These statistics are based on 459,340 private rental data records from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) lettings information database. This sample of private rents was collected by Rent Officers from landlords and letting agents. Data were extracted for the 12 months to the end of September 2023. Only cases with sufficient evidence of a transaction taking place were included in the sample. A small proportion of data that were unconfirmed or had limited evidence were not included.

Rent Officers aim to re-collect data for previously-visited properties to obtain updated information about the property's rent price. The median time between re-collecting data for the same property is 12 months. This means that there could be a small number of properties where data were collected for the property near the start and near the end of the 12-month period this release covers, leading to multiple records for the same property being included in this analysis, which uses the data to estimate the average rent price over the 12-month period.

The data were broken down by administrative area and by bedroom or room category. Statistics were calculated on the total monthly rents, which may include some service charges such as fuel and water. For Local Housing Allowance purposes, service charges were not included as they were ineligible for the calculation of Housing Benefit.

The rental value ranges displayed in Figure 3 are produced using "Jenks natural breaks". This is a method that separates values into groups that are naturally present in the data. Similar values are grouped in such a way that the differences between groups are maximised.

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 plan to refine geography to lower geographic levels, to better meet user needs.

We aim to replace IPHRP and PRMS with the Price Index of Private Rents (PIPR) in March 2024 to produce a single monthly publication that provides more detailed insight into the UK rental market. Therefore, this is the final PRMS publication.

Preliminary outputs of the new rents system, the Price Index of Private Rents (PIPR), were published on 1 December 2023 as a rents impact analysis and within a wider impact analysis on transformation of UK consumer price statistics. We hosted a webinar on 1 December 2023 to accompany the impact analysis publication and are hosting further engagement sessions in January 2024. To sign up to these events, see the Eventbrite Consumer prices transformation event page.

The PIPR methodology overview is available in our Redevelopment of private rental prices statistics, intended methodology. More information and a timetable for these developments (updated 6 July 2023) are available in our Private rental prices development plan: updated February 2022.

If you have any queries or feedback on these developments, please email us at hpi@ons.gov.uk.

Voluntary provision of data

Thank you to the landlords and estate agents who voluntarily provide the data that make this release possible.

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8. Strengths and limitations

Data interpretation and comparability

Under the current methodology, we do not publish a time series and users are advised not to infer trends in the rental market over time by comparing prices year-on-year.

In addition to the Private Rental Market Statistics (PRMS), the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also produces the Index of Private Housing Rental Price (IPHRP). The PRMS estimates include data for rooms and are not comparable over time. The IPHRP excludes rooms and applies weighting and mix-adjustment to produce estimates that are representative of the UK stock and comparable over time. More information about the differences between PRMS and IPHRP is available in our Index of Private Housing Rental Prices Quality and Methodology Information (QMI).

These statistics are for information only and should be distinguished from Direct Gov's Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates which are used to calculate Housing Benefit for privately renting tenants.

Sampling

These statistics are based on a sample of private rents in England, totalling 459,340 rents that were recorded between 1 October 2022 and 30 September 2023. Rent Officers collect these letting information data for functions related to Housing Benefit and Universal Credit on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They are responsible for ensuring collected lettings information are representative of the full range of market rents. For more information on Rent Officers, see the Valuation Office Agency's (VOA's) Rent Officer duties guidance.

The 2011 Census provides a benchmark for the population of privately rented properties. Rent Officers endeavour to collect a proportionate spread of data by property type and geographic spread. The data have not been drawn from a statistically designed sample, so these statistics should be considered as only indicative of the private rental market.

Results are not adjusted to produce statistics that are representative of the private rental property market in England. Housing Benefit claimants are excluded, so not all privately rented properties are represented in this sample. The regional variation in sample size is published in Table 1.7 of the Private rental market summary statistics in England dataset.

Landlords and letting agents provide Rent Officers with data about the properties they let on the open market. This information is captured electronically in the lettings information database. Checks are carried out at the point of entry to ensure that any Housing Benefit-funded tenancies are excluded from this database.

To avoid disclosure of personal information, statistics derived from samples containing fewer than 5 records have been suppressed. Additionally, lower and upper quartile statistics derived from samples containing fewer than 10 records have been suppressed. All rental values have been rounded to the nearest pound.

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10. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 20 December 2023, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Private rental market summary statistics in England: October 2022 to September 2023

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

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