Private rents in Bristol shooting up after the pandemic

Rents have been shooting up in Bristol, and are now above pre-pandemic prices. New figures from the Valuation Office Agency reveal that on average, a property in Bristol cost £1,125 a month to rent in the year to March 2022.

That’s up from £1,026 a month in the year to March 2021, and from £1,000 a month in the year leading up to March 2020, the start of the pandemic. That’s a 9.6% increase year-on-year, and a 12.5% increase from before the pandemic.

The figures are published twice a year, and are based on a sample of around half a million private rents recorded nationally. Because they use a limited – although large – sample, the VOA caution against reading too much into trends over time.

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However, they do give an indication as to whether rents are rising or falling in an area – and the findings are backed up by a separate report by Zoopla published earlier this year. Zoopla’s report found that rents in Bristol have increased 12.0% over the course of the previous 12 months to £1,145 per month.

Across the UK they’ve risen by 11.0%, or 9.1% excluding London. Gráinne Gilmore, Head of Research at Zoopla said: “The severe shortage of rental stock, coupled with high demand is driving an increase in rental prices across the UK.

“Rents are likely to continue rising for longer in locations which have the most constrained stock levels like London, Scotland and the South West – and this increase in rents is having a knock on effect on the length of tenancies, with UK tenants staying in their rental properties for an extra 5 months compared to five years ago.

“We anticipate that overall, rental growth will start to ease as we head into the remainder of the year, with the cost of living crisis impacting demand levels.” Elsewhere in our region, South Gloucestershire has seen a 11.8% increase in rents compared to the start of the pandemic, according to the VOA’s data.

Rents in the area averaged £950 a month in the year up to March 2022. Rents in North Somerset, meanwhile, have increased by 10.3% since the pandemic to £800 a month.

The highest average rent increases in the UK can be found in Gloucestershire. The average rent in Tewkesbury was £863 a month in the year up to March 2022. That’s an increase of 26.9% from the £725 a month in March 2020.

Rents in Gloucester increased 20.2% to £763 a month, while in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, they also increased by 20.2% to £595 a month.

In Rutland, rents have increased by 15.8% compared to before the pandemic. In Derbyshire Dales they’ve increased by 15.1%, in Ashfield by 15.0%, and in Staffordshire Moorlands by 15.0%

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