Nearly 80% of tenants paying the asking price

Most rental homes are being let at asking price, Countrywide has reported. The proportion nationally is 78%, up 13% compared with a year ago.

In Greater London, 76% of homes are now let at asking price, 10% higher than last year, while in central London 89% of homes are now let at asking price, 20% higher than last year. However, rents in central London have fallen 2% compared with last year, to stand at £2,434.

Rents are also down in the south-east by 1.4% to £1,188.

Nationally the rate of rental growth on new lets slowed, with average rents reaching £960 a month in the UK, up 1.5% compared with 4% growth this time last year, the figures suggest.

Greater London recorded an increase in rents during August, up 0.9% to £1,299, but that is the lowest annual growth rate for the area since 2012, Countrywide said.

Meanwhile, in the east of England rents are up 7.1% year-on-year to £977 a month.

Some tenants are paying above the asking price.

Only 8% of rental homes in central London were let above asking price, falling from 17% in the same period last year.

Nationally the proportion of homes let above asking price saw a marginal rise of 0.2%. Only Wales and the north saw similar falls like London, dropping by 3% and 0.3% respectively.

The east of England and the south-west saw increases of properties rented above asking price by 2.3% and 3.1% respectively.

Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, said: “In London and the south-east recent increases in the number of homes available to rent, outpacing the growth in tenants looking for a home, has meant that bargaining power is shifting towards tenants from landlords. This is slowing rental growth.

“Overall slightly more tenants are offering above asking price than last year. The majority continue to pay asking prices.

“Unlike the sales market, rental prices adapt very quickly to changes in market conditions, meaning asking prices are finely tuned to tenant demand.”

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Written by: Houseladder