UK Rents Will Not Peak Until 2025

According to estate agent Savills, UK rents are set to keep on rising, but will hit an ‘affordability ceiling’ in 2025.

Short supply of rental housing stock and tougher conditions for landlords will keep UK rental growth strong in the short-term, according to Savills, with 9.5% growth forecast for the calendar year 2023.
While this is lower than the 11.2% growth seen in 2022, it is still higher than any other year on record, according to Zoopla’s rental index.

A continued imbalance between supply and demand is expected to keep rental growth robust into 2024, with a further 6.0% growth forecast, according to Savills research, but an ‘affordability ceiling’ will limit growth for the rest of the forecast period (2025-2028).

Supply and demand

Savill’s says that the private rented sector (PRS) has been tough for many in 2023. Rents have grown by nearly 6% in the first eight months of the year, taking total growth since the pandemic to 26%, according to Zoopla.

Emily Williams, director in the Savills residential research team, comments: “Homes to rent continue to be in significant short supply. The end of a series of national lockdowns sparked increased rental demand in mid-2021 that has consistently outstripped supply ever since. At the same time, the rising cost of debt has impacted the profitability of many mortgaged landlords. This, together with a changed tax and policy environment, is forcing an increasing number to sell their properties.

“As a result, competition for stock is tough, and tenants are having to bid upwards to secure a tenancy, supported – but only in part – by a strong growth in incomes, fuelling rents upwards in the short-to-medium term.

“It’s very difficult to see where an increase in rental supply will come from in the next couple of years. Higher borrowing costs will also keep would-be-buyers in the rental sector for longer, underpinning demand, and while some landlords will be able to transact in cash to avoid the higher cost of debt, this is unlikely to move the dial on supply. Any significant increase in stock in the sector will be delayed until 2026 and beyond, when interest rates have fallen more substantially.”


But any increase in rental stock in London will be further delayed, Savills says. With rental yields already lower in the capital, it will take a longer time for a significant premium over the risk free rate to emerge.

This supply challenge, in addition to a slightly stronger economic outlook for London over the rest UK, means Savills expects London rental growth to begin to show stronger rental growth again by the end of the five-year forecast period.

Despite strong income growth, rising rents are stretching the finances of those in the PRS. Savills now estimates that the average PRS household is spending 35.3% of their income on rent, up from 33% in 2021/22.

This is forecast to be stretched further in 2024, but thereafter rents will have reached an affordability ceiling, and further increases will not exceed income growth. However, renters will still be left spending a higher proportion of their income on rent than at any point in the last 18 years.

But the market is already feeling the impact of hitting an affordability ceiling in London, where rents already take up a much higher proportion of income – at 42.5%, according to Savills.

Rents in the capital have grown 31% in the last two years, and as a result, renters have already exhausted their capacity to bid upwards. As a result, month-on-month rental growth has fallen from an average of 1.2% in 2022 to 0.6% so far in 2023 – and is likely to remain lower than the UK average over the next 18 months.


According to Savills Q3 prime London lettings index, more stock coming to the market, against steadying demand has caused prime rents to simmer. But there is a mismatch in landlord and tenants expectations. While more than half of landlords in London are still expecting 5-10% rental increases, just a third of tenants only expect to pay up to 5% more.

Struggles for individual private landlords suggest that institutional landlords and the Build to Rent sector will play an increasingly important role looking forward.

Jacqui Daly, director Savills research and consultancy, says: “The private rented sector appeals to institutional operators because it offers a secure long term income stream which is likely to rise with inflation and also ticks the social value box by providing a much-needed source of new housing. With the pool of renters expected to widen, there are opportunities for investors to provide both urban flats and suburban family housing to rent in the multifamily and single family markets respectively.

“However, the degree to which the Build to Rent sector can grow in influence will depend on how easily schemes can get funding in a challenging debt market and get planning consent in an arguably even more challenging planning environment.”

See also: Conveyancing: the Mysteries Explained

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get
• FREE Competitions
• FREE Digital Magazines
• HOME and FAMILY News
And much more…

You have Successfully Subscribed!