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Lettings market: arrears down and rents roughly stableAverage rents for one and two bedroom properties rose 0.8 and 0.4 per cent respectively in the first quarter of 2015, while rents remained stable for larger properties according to Countrywide.

However, average rents for newly let properties increased 4.5 per cent in the first quarter to £894 pcm, up from £853 pcm in Q4 2014.

The average monthly rent in Q1 2015 decreased in over half of UK regions, with the greatest fall in the south east of England, down 1.9 per cent to £1,097 pcm.

Average rents remain unchanged in the north of England but increased in Central London, up 3.1 per cent to £2,561pcm.

The average UK rent for renewed tenancies in March is £848 pcm, an increase of 0.8 per cent month-on-month and 2.3 per cent year-on-year.

The average rent for all existing-occupied rental properties is £840 pcm, an increase of 0.2 per cent month-on-month and 2.4 per cent year-on-year.

Stable rents and declining arrears reflect healthier economic conditions in the UK rental market. Zero inflation and rising incomes means that on average the cost of living has decreased and this is having a positive impact of consumer's confidence and disposable income says Nick Dunning, group commercial director at Countrywide.

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