On average rents in England increased by just £3 a month in the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, the latest national index shows.
The lowest rents in were £595 in the North West and £621 in the North East and the highest rents in Q3 were £1,052 in the South East and £1,436 in London, according to the data from rental franchise Belvoir.
It also reveals that apart from London and the South East, rents have been relatively stable since 2008 while overall half of the 50 counties covered by the index saw rents fall including Berkshire, Surrey, Hertfordshire, West Sussex and London.
The index also looks at trends for different types of properties, and 80% of Belvoir offices reported that the majority of rents for flats remained static and any rises that were seen were small, up to £25 a month.
There was a similar picture with houses with 53% of Belvoir offices reporting that rents were unchanged. The majority of Belvoir agents are predicting that there will be very little change in rents in the final quarter of 2017, especially for flats and houses.
Looking at demand in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter, demand for flats was static to falling, and although demand for houses remained strong, more offices reported decrease in demand.
The index report suggests that this trend could be linked to the fact that the majority of tenants are staying in their properties for longer with 42% opting to remain for 13 to 18 months and over 30% staying for 19 to 24 months with 14% choosing to stay for over two years.
More landlords were exiting the market, and less investors were buying in the third quarter. An increased number of offices reported that six to 10 landlords were selling up, which in turn is reducing supply. Interestingly, most offices reported a decrease in demand for HMOs and we will be tracking this trend, along with others over the following year.