Landlords urged to be realistic about rents in the year ahead

“Belvoir has over 140 offices nationwide, and is expanding rapidly, but at present we not have a strong London bias. We have learnt about variations in rental data and how to analyse the information to make sure we can track trends accurately and report on a regional and even office-by-office basis. In 2012, with over four years of analysis, we can now confidently comment about national rental trends, regional differences and local changes at office level.

“During 2011 there were frequent reports in the national press about the stratospheric rise of UK rents. However, although the Belvoir Index reveals rental increases in 2011 versus 2010, many regions have still not recovered to the rents achieved in 2008. Just five areas across the UK have overtaken the rental heights of 2008. These regions are London (+5%), North East (+6%), Yorkshire (+2%), South West and West Midlands (+1%). Other regions such as the North West were up in 2011 compared to 2010, but were still down compared to 2008 heights (-3%), with the East Midlands (-6%) and East Anglia (-5%) the furthest away from 2008 heights.

“We are predicting that this regional rental fluctuation is likely to continue throughout the year, although some areas such as the South East are likely to see a higher increase as rental prices force people out of London into the Home Counties. With regard to other areas I think rents will be relatively stable and any increases are likely to be very modest.

“I believe that increased rents and stable or decreasing house prices will result in increased rental yields in 2012. However, this will clearly be very dependent on the outcome of the Eurozone crisis and its impact on credit and borrowing"

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