Rents are still rising but properties are taking longer to let

The number of properties available to rent has increased across the UK but there are fewer new properties coming to the market, says Rightmove.

The portal’s Quarterly Rental Tracker found the number of properties marked as available for rent by agents outside London was 7% higher than this time last year, and up 8% in London.

But the report showed a 2% decline in new rental properties coming on the market, and a 5% drop in London.

Asking rents were up 2.8% on a quarterly basis and 1.9 % annually to £790 outside London and fell 3.2% year-on-year in the capital to £1,934 on average a month.

The report also found properties are taking 11% longer outside London and 15% longer in London to let out than in the second quarter of last year.

Sam Mitchell, head of lettings for Rightmove, said: “Many thought that rental supply would constrict this year, as landlords sold up and looked to invest their money elsewhere, but clearly this isn’t happening yet.

“Perhaps landlords are remortgaging their buy-to-let properties instead, as they still feel it’s a better investment than looking to other industries.

“It could spell good news for tenants coming to the end of their lease as they might find there is slightly more choice than last year.

“Anyone hoping for a drop in prices due to the extra choice will be disappointed, though, as rents are following a very similar trend to previous years.”

Mitchell added that the disproportionate buying activity ahead of the 3% increase in Stamp Duty last year has weighed on asking rents in the capital, adding: “Agents and landlords should make sure that they are ahead of the curve in pricing to make sure that they react quickly in a very competitive market.”

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