The number of properties that agents managed per branch fell to a 12-month low in October according to new figures released by the Association of Residential Letting Agents.
On average, each branch had 182, down from 189 in September. This figure is the lowest October 2016.
Supply also dipped in October, from 79 prospective tenants registered per branch in September, to 69.
Meanwhile the number of tenants experiencing rent increases fell to the lowest level since December 2016. Just over a fifth (22 per cent) of agents witnessed landlords hiking rent costs, down from 27 per cent in September, and a high of 35 per cent in August.
In line with this, the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions increased marginally from 2.4 per cent in September to 2.5 per cent.
“A large number of tenancies are agreed over the summer, meaning both supply and demand are usually lower in the Autumn. However, a lot are also agreed in the New Year and if stock remains low, competition for properties among prospective tenants will increase, which will in turn push rents up, so we must see an increase in supply over the next two months” says David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive.
“Last week’s news that stamp duty will be cut for first-time-buyers will mean consumers feel more positive and will hopefully go some way towards helping more people get onto the housing ladder. But if rent costs continue to rise, it will forever be an unreachable aspiration for many” he adds.
ARLA’s figures are based on an online survey among 264 member branches between October 31 and November 8.