PURBECK has seen the highest rate of rental growth in the UK this year amid skyrocketing prices in the south.

According to figures by real estate company Zoopla, rents in Purbeck were up by 16.2 per cent annually, making it the location with the highest rate of rental growth in the UK.

Rents in the south west of England were up by nine per cent annually, making it the region registering the fastest rental growth in the third quarter of 2021.

Kate Anson, of Purbeck Lettings, told the Echo: “I have worked in the lettings industry for over 30 years – the last 15 of those in Purbeck – and although there has always been a strong and constant demand for rental properties in Purbeck, there is now unprecedented demand for rental properties from both people currently living here, and those wanting to relocate to the area.

“To my mind, Covid has definitely created a significant increase in people wanting to relocate here.

“This combined with a real shortage of long-term rental properties has resulted in significant rent increases and a fiercely competitive market for prospective tenants.

“We have a large list of waiting applicants and in some cases, we are letting properties before we even have time to list them on our website. In cases where we list the properties we normally get over 50 serious enquiries and properties are under offer within 24 hours.”

Excluding London, rents across the UK were up by six per cent annually, a figure which Zoopla said was a 14-year high.

Rents are rising at the fastest pace since 2008 as strong demand outstrips supply, according to an index.

Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla said: “The swing back of demand into city centres, including London, has underpinned another rise in rents in quarter three, especially as the supply of rental property remains tight.”

She added: “Meanwhile, just as in the sales market, there is still a cohort of renters looking for properties offering more space, or a more rural or coastal location.”