New lettings data from Agency Express supports the belief that the rental market may be slowing down across much of the country.
National figures for new listings ‘To Let’ in February revealed a drop of 13.8 per cent from January, marking the largest month on month February decline since the indexes first records in 2012.
The figures are consistent with recent reports from Paul Smee, director general of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, who commented: “Buy to let house purchase activity continues to be weak, despite strong buy-to-let remortgage levels. This will likely remain so going forward as lenders tighten affordability criteria ahead of the PRA mandated stress tests, and the introduction of tax changes in April.”
In contrast properties ‘Let’ rose 3.4 per cent during the period according to Agency Express. However, looking back over the company’s historical data, records show figures in years previous were more robust, with rises of 4.5 per cent in 2016 and 5.5 per cent in 2015.
Looking at performance across the UK, only two of the 12 regions recorded by the firm reported increases in new listings ‘To Let’, while five regions reported increases in properties ‘Let’.
Following on from a strong market in January the West Midlands maintained momentum, and was the only region in this month’s index to record increases in both new listings (a rise of 7.6 per cent) and properties ‘Let’ (up 3.0 per cent). Buoyant figures were also returned in the East Midlands.
“The index historically shows us a drop in figures throughout February. However, this month we have seen a greater fall than in years previous, an impact of the buy to let changes which will undoubtedly affect the market ongoing” notes Agency Express managing director Stephen Watson.