RENTS have hit a new high — well above inflation — as new figures published today showed landlords keep increasing rents to allegedly offset new government legislation.
Housing campaigners blamed lack of controls for the spiralling crisis and demanded more houses be built to help slow down greedy landlords.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) also revealed that average house prices had risen by £18,000 annually, with new buyers shelling out around £214,000 for their first home.
Research by landlord insurance company HomeLet found rents have risen at unprecedented speed over the last three months, with housing costs in London going up by nearly 8 per cent in a year.
HomeLet’s parent company Barbon chief executive Martin Totty said: “The stamp duty increase has already had an impact and that surge in the acquisition of property by landlords could now cause a short-term increase in the supply of rental property in some areas of the country.
“In the longer term, changes to rules around buy-to-let mortgage interest being offset against tax bills, coupled with the Bank of England’s instruction to lenders to apply more exacting criteria on buy-to-let lending, may have a limiting effect on supply.”
New government regulations saw an increase of 3 per cent on stamp duty for properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Average rents in Britain have now reached over £750 a month, with homes in the capital costing Londoners more than £1,500 a month on average.
Generation Rent spokesman Dan Wilson-Craw told the Star: “Rents have been rising far faster than inflation for a number of years so it’s wrong to suggest that tax changes will make it worse.
“Ultimately there’s a shortage of houses and until we build enough of them we need rent controls to stop housing costs eating up more of ordinary people’s incomes.”
Housing experts said the 8 per cent rise in house prices proved that “the housing market in this country is out of control.”
Homelessness charity Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb added: “The result is millions of families who can’t afford to buy a home to settle down in, and millennials who are forced to suffer expensive and unstable renting conditions or live with mum and dad well into their 30s.