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Agency warns buy to let sector likely to cool over the winter

Average rents across the UK are up eight per cent over the past 15 months according to Connells Group - but it warms that with a reduction in demand in London, there may be a cooling in overall rent levels over the winter.

The average monthly rent across the country is now £911. 

Regionally, rent increases over the past year have been highest in eastern, central and southern area; new tenancies increased significantly in the third quarter of this year compared to the second, says Connells.

The number of buy to let mortgages sought through Connells recorded a seven per cent fall.

"The [mortgage] market has a slightly different shape to it now with buy to let purchases stabilising at a lower level than previously seen" says Connells' latest market report.

Adrian Scott, Connells Group's mortgage services director, says there is now a lingering concern around buy to let, especially in light of the Bank of England's recent confirmation that underwriting standards for lenders would be substantially tightened.

"These tougher underwriting standards for buy to let lenders, together with the further [landlord] tax changes still to take effect, are likely to keep BTL purchase business subdued into 2017" he admits.

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