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Buy to let rent rises keeping pace with inflation

Buy to let rents in Northern Ireland were up 1.9 per cent at £632 a month in December.

Tenants are paying around £12 a month more now for a private rented home than a year ago, shows data from market monitor Homelet.

The study also shows the average Northern Ireland male renter earns £29,277 a year and the average female £16,723, with rent costing 30 per cent of average total household income. Most rented homes are flats (33.7 per cent) or terraced houses (33.5 per cent).

In comparison, the average UK rent excluding figures for London, is £763 a month - up 0.7 per cent on a year ago. Renters earn more than in Northern Ireland - £37,590 for a man, an increase of nearly 24 per cent, and nearly double at £27,336 for a woman. Rent affordability is slightly better outside Northern Ireland, at 29 per cent of household income.

“Positively for both tenants and landlords, this year we’ve seen stability in UK rental price growth, with increases remaining broadly in line with the rate of consumer inflation,” said Martin Totty, chief executive at HomeLet.

“For landlords, there remains a sustained demand for property, with the private rental sector continuing to provide the market with both flexible and long term housing options.

“Private residential landlords will continue to play a key role in the wider UK housing market. Whilst the outlook for property investors remains positive, one of the key concerns for the market in 2019 would be a potential lack of supply in certain regions.

“The government’s squeeze on private landlords via taxation changes and more regulation could discourage their continued participation in this important sector. Unlike the trends we saw in 2018, any reduction in supply could lead to rental increases that are above the rate of consumer inflation.”