The average monthly rent in Essex has increased to an all time high, figures have shown.
The median monthly rent – averaged out across all types of property – was £926 between 1 April, 2019 and 31 March, 2020, up from £909 recorded between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019.
The figures have shown that the most expensive place to rent is Epping Forest, which has seen monthly rents increase by £45 to £1,295 in the same period.
Brentwood rents have increased by £25 to make it the second most expensive place in Essex at £1,075 a month.
The median cost of renting in Chelmsford increased by £25 to £925 a month.
The increase in rents has coincided with a steep rise in unemployment with industry experts warning of a lengthy backlog of evictions over the coming months as more and more tenants struggle financially.
The latest ONS report shows that median rents in England have not been higher. London had the highest median monthly rent at £1,425; this is more than double the median monthly rent for the whole of England.
Co-founder of rental deposit replacement company Ome, Matthew Hooker, said: “Rental affordability remains a burning issue and one that will continue to plague the market having been greatly exacerbated by the coronavirus.
“We’ve seen tenants across the UK squeezed in recent years where the cost of living is concerned as wage growth has failed to keep pace with ever-increasing rental costs.
“However, this will have become a much bigger issue for those that now find themselves on restricted income or recently unemployed, with the cost of renting now hitting an all-time high.
“The extended eviction ban will do little to comfort those with an eye on their long-term future within the rental sector. It is likely we will see a lengthy backlog of evictions over the coming months as more and more tenants struggle financially.
“While tough, the best advice for tenants currently is to reduce their outgoings where possible, continue to maintain rental payments where they can and keep communication frequent and open with their landlord.”