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: Weekly rents (Median) across the regions

  • Note the differential between rent levels in the London region and elsewhere – rents in London are twice the England average.
  • The North East is the English region with the lowest median weekly rent – £100pw. 
  • Over the twelve months prior to the production of these statistics, rent growth (not shown) has been modest.

Table 2: Monthly rental price growth, Mar-Apr 2021

This chart shows the annual growth rate in the IPHRP for March and April across the English regions and in Wales. In five English regions as well as Wales the growth in annual rental prices increased in April compared to March.

In two regions the index fell. In the South West, there was a slight cooling but this is the region in which rental prices have been way ahead of elsewhere since autumn 2019.

It is the other region - London - where the fall catches the eye. The research pages have written much about rental prices in London recently. As previously commented, the combination of the index's construction and the pandemic is now fully being realised in the index pattern for London.

  • In England, the IPHRP fell back to 1.2% growth year on year compared to 1.3%. That is, rental prices in the sector – for both new and existing tenants – grew by an average of 1.2% in the twelve months to April 2021.  A large part of the fall in England is due to the "London effect". Though not publsihed here, the figure for "England excluding London" is 1.7%pa for April. 
  • In Wales, private rental prices flicked upwards to 1.6% growth per annum.  It has been a pattern of 1.5%-1.6% pa growth in Wales since September 2020.
  • April continues the strong annual growth in rental prices which Wales has experienced recently. Annual rental price growth in Wales has been greater than growth in England since October 2020. The relative strength of Wales compared to England is nowhere near as clearcut if London is excluded from the analysis. 

In the English regions:

  • Price growth in the South West remains strong, despite the slight fall in April. Rental price growth in the South West has been over 2.0%pa for each and every month since May 2019.   
  • In the North West annual rental price growth rose to 2.0%pa. This is the highest level of growth this region has experienced had since the initiation of coverage in January 2019. In fact you have to go back to December 2008 to see rental inflation at 2.0%pa.
  • London rents grew by just 0.1%pa in April.  This is another large reduction - in February rents grew 0.8%pa and in March 0.5%pa.
  • Once again London was the region with the lowest level of annual price growth in England - this is the fifth successive month this has been the case. Price growth in London has been below 1.0%pa in six of the seven most recent months. Price growth in London is now way below that of the next-lowest growth regions (East of England and the South East - 1.3%pa).  
  • Rents in London continue to underperform the national benchmark. Rental prices in the capital have been below the national (England) growth average since January 2019. In the South East, the last time rental price growth exceeded the national average was in November 2019.

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