Rising rents challenging for new home buyers
A NEW report has shown a sharp rise in rents in Northern Ireland last year.
While still the cheapest region in the UK for average rent costs, the report by the Deposit Protection Service shows Northern Ireland had the highest percentage increase in 2017, with a rise of 3.66% to £531.74.
Across the UK average rents rose by 1.63% in 2017 to around £ 773.74 a month.
However, the rate of growth halved compared to 2016 when average UK rent rose by 3.25%.
The report also showed that Northern Ireland saw the highest increase across the UK for rent as a proportion of salary with rents now representing 24.73% of the average salary.
Co- Ownership, Northern Ireland’s main provider of shared ownership, has warned that the rise in private rental properties could create challenges for new buyers.
Chief Executive Mark Graham said: “It’s important we have a healthy private rent sector for those individuals for whom homeownership isn’t right for at any particular time, but equally it’s important we have a healthy residential housing market to support the start and completion of new developments to address our estimated annual shortfall of around 2,000 homes.”
Mr Graham continued: “If rent as a proportion of salary continues to increase in Northern Ireland, which now stands at almost 25%, then this could have a potential knock on effect where we see fewer new build and resale completions with first- time buyers as a result of them being unable to save to afford a deposit.”