It obviously depends what side of the debate you sit on, as no rise is welcome to a tenant. On the other hand, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest the pressure is nothing like as great as the hype would have us all believe (Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, July to September 2015 | 29 October 2015)
Officially, in the year to the end of the third quarter of 2015, rental prices were up nationally by 2.7%. This was certainly a healthy increase versus the same period last year, being a 1.3% rise in the rate of growth from September 2014 and rents are now rising at their joint fastest since October 2012.
In the East Midlands (the tightest data I can get reflecting the Leicestershire market), the picture is less pressured: rents are rising in the year by 2.1%, the first time the rate has nudged over 2% since September 2008 (and in the interim there have been periods of rent declines – 2009 to 2011 come to mind).
In UK terms, London obviously reflects the majority of the national rise, at 4.1% annual rise to date; the GB excluding London is only 1.8% up.
And set against this picture of rises, the same ONS data confirms that wages are rising nationally by 3% in the same period (source: Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey)
So, as the ONS puts it: The recent strengthening in nominal pay growth and low inflation means that real wages are now growing at a faster rate than rental prices.”.
Worth keeping this in mind next time the headlines scream about rents “out of control” (think Shelter, Generation Rent, et al)