According to the VOA, rental property in Bristol cost £1,026 per month in the year to March
Rents are continuing to rise in Bristol despite a slump in prices across other major UK cities amid the pandemic.
On average, rental property in Bristol cost £1,026 per month in the year to March, according to new figures from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
That was up from £995 a month in the year to September 2020 – which had been slightly lower from £1,000 in the year to March 2020, but was higher than £975 in the year to September 2019.
The VOA caution against reading too much into trends over time because they use a limited sample. However, they do give an indication as to whether rents are rising or falling in an area.
Separate figures from Zoopla show that rents have been falling in several major cities due to coronavirus.
Their report identified several factors contributing to this – such as falling demand for properties from overseas workers, students, tourists and corporate travellers, and changes to demographics, working patterns and the financial status of many residents.
Major cities have been most affected by these issues, and in contrast rent has generally continued to rise outside of urban centres.
North Somerset and South Gloucestershire also saw a rise in rents between the year to September 2020 and the year to March.
In North Somerset they rose from £750 to £775 a month, and in South Gloucestershire from £875 to £900 a month.
As the VOA figures only go up to March, they do not yet show how rents have been affected by the latest easing of lockdown.
However, Zoopla says the city centre downturn is starting to reverse as the economy opens up, workers start to return to their offices, leisure activities restart, and renters return in search of a rental bargain and restoration of their social life.
Gráinne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said: The opening up of the economy and the slow return to ‘business as usual’ as the vaccine rolls out means demand will continue to build over the summer as more people move to rent their first property – although, as ever, this will be dependent on the economy opening up in line with the planned timetable.
She said demand will continue to rise in city centres as offices start to re-open and this, coupled with increased affordability levels in many cases, will start to counter the negative pressure on rents seen over the last 12 months.
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