The Data Observatory

The NRLA Data Observatory is a collection of official and other well-established data sources which when combined, provide a narrative of the Private Rented Sector (PRS). The NRLA tracks approximately 45 key data sets which are updated monthly, quarterly and annually. A selection of these appear in these pages.

Our Deep Insight blog provides a regular extension of the analysis which appears here, as well as those datasets which are not published in the Data Observatory section of this website.

The blog pages also features blog posts from other organisations and academics to provide insight on the PRS. Here you can also find more in-depth summaries of our regular reports and surveys.

Regional PRS data

Table 1: Annual rental price growth, January 2024 & February 2024

Regional rental price inflation

For the first time this chart shows rental changes using the new PIPR index.

One advantage of the new index is that average rents across different property sizes can be tracked at a local authority level. An easy to use chart tool has been launched by the ONS. The tool can be found by clicking on this link.

In February the CPI stood at 3.4%pa and the CPIH at 3.8%pa for the UK as a whole. The new Price Index of Private Rents (PIPR) for the whole UK was 9.0%pa, up from 8.5% in January.

The chart above is showing some divergence: whilst each region in England showed the annual rate of private rented housing increase in the twelve months to February compared to the twelve months to January, in Wales this annual rate fell. It is the third consecutive month in which the annual rate in Wales has fallen – the rate peaking at 9.8% in November last year.

In several English regions last autumn seemed to show PIPR levelling off, but February has seen every English region, bar the South West, record its highest (the data is calculated back to January 2006) annual PIPR rate.  

Table 2: Weekly rents (Median) across the regions

Data collection for this survey took place between April 2020 and March 2021. This rent information is therefore not a snapshot at a moment in time, but reflects rent levels across the entire research period. Given data collection problems with this specific version of the Family Resources Survey (FRS), time-series comparisons at a regional level are not necessarily meaningful. There is certainly a discrepency between the changes in regional rent levels since the previous FRS and the regional price indices data reported above. 

However the survey remains useful regionally as a comparative tool:

  • Rent levels across the northern regions remain noticably lower than those in the midlands and then, in turn southern regions in England.
  • The North East - one of the regions in which Landlord Confidence (measured by the NRLA) often lags the national average - has the lowest rent levels among the England regions.
  • London remains the location with the highest rents in England - more than double that of each of the northern regions as well as Wales.

Each of the above observations are consistent with the previous Family Resources Survey.


Note that some of the data in this section is subject to updates and revision by UK statistical agencies.  The NRLA may, or may not, update this secton as data is revised