GMB study into private rental costs
£1,275 per month for two-bedroom flat in Guildford tops Southern Region’s private rent league while £600 per month in Shepway and Isle of Wight are the lowest rents. “If employers don't respond with higher pay they will face staff shortages as workers, especially younger people, are priced out of housing market”, says GMB Southern
A study by GMB has found that median rent for a two-bedroom flat in Guildford is now £1,275 per month, making it the most expensive area in the 67 areas in the South East for rents for private sector two-bedroom flats. Rents in the area have risen 27.5% since 2011 and have increased by 2% in the past 12 months.
This compares with the median monthly rent for a two-bedroom flat across the South East of £875, up by 25% since 2011 but has not changed in the last 12 months.
There are five other areas in the South East where the median monthly rent for a private two-bedroom flat is £1200 or higher. These are Epsom and Ewell £1,250, Oxford £1,200, Runnymede £1,200, Elmbridge £1,200, and Windsor and Maidenhead £ 1,200.
The lowest median monthly rent for a private two-bedroom flat at £600 are in Shepway and the Isle of Wight. In contrast to the rest of the region the increases since 2011 were 9.1%.
A two-bedroom flat in East Dorset is now £800 per month, making it the most expensive area in the 10 areas in Dorset and Wiltshire. Rents in this area have risen 15.1% since 2011 but have not changed in the past 12 months.
This compares with the median monthly rent for a two-bedroom flat across Dorset and Wiltshire of £695, up by 16.8% since 2011 and has increased by 3% in the last 12 months.
There are six other areas in Dorset and Wiltshire where the median monthly rent for a private two-bedroom flat is £700 or higher. These are Christchurch £795, Bournemouth £795, Poole £795, Wiltshire £725, Purbeck £725 and West Dorset £700.
The lowest median monthly rents for a private two-bedroom flat at £650 is in Weymouth and Portland and North Dorset. In contrast to the rest of the region, the increases since 2011 were 4% for Weymouth and Portland, and 13% for North Dorset.
The figures for all 67 areas in the South East and 10 areas in Dorset and Wiltshire are set out in the table available for download on the right.
Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary said: "These figures show how rising house rental prices in London have spread into the commuter belt around London to places like Guildford.
"These high rents are here to stay. So too are younger workers living for longer in private sector rental accommodation.
"As a direct consequence, employers must be prepared to pay much higher wages to staff to enable them to afford these much higher rents.
"If employers don't respond with higher pay they will face staff shortages as workers, especially younger people, are priced out of housing market.
"It makes little sense for these workers to spend a full week at work only to pay most of their earnings in rents. They will vote with their feet.
"Policy mistakes have made the housing position for lower paid workers worse. Council homes for rents at reasonable levels were aimed at housing the families of workers in the lower pay grades and did it successfully for generations
"These were sold off but crucially not replaced as a matter of Tory dogma. Housing benefits was introduced instead to help pay rents for those on lower paid and the costs to the taxpayer has ballooned to over £24 billion a year. It would have been far cheaper to build the council homes.
"The chickens are now coming home to roost on these policy mistakes. There is a massive shortage of homes for rent at reasonable rents for workers in the lower pay grades. There is now no alternative to higher pay to pay these higher rents plus a step change upwards in building homes for rent at reasonable rents.
"Higher pay especially for younger workers is now one essential part of the solution."
Contact: Michelle Gordon 07866 369 259 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114 762
Notes to Editors
1 Source: Private Rental Market Summary Statistics; Valuation Office Agency © Crown copyright 2018.
The data is collected by the Valuation Office captured during the course of Rent Officers’ statutory responsibilities to administer functions related to Housing Benefit (LHA and LRR schemes) and Universal Credit on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.
Landlords and letting agents provide VOA Rent Officers with data about the properties they let. This information is captured electronically in the VOA’s lettings information database. Checks are carried out at the point of entry to ensure that any Housing Benefit funded tenancies are excluded from this database.
Two-bedroom self-contained properties with two-bedrooms including houses, bungalows, flats and maisonettes.
2011 data is for the 12 months to the end of June 2011
2018 data is for the 12 months to the end of March 2018