The number of new landlords instructing agents is at its lowest for two years - and with worse to come thanks to the deterrent of mortgage interest tax relief changes.
That's the view of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' latest residential market survey, undertaken just before the Budget.
RICS surveys assess the balance of its members' opinions based on their local market experiences - and a net balance of 10 per cent more members report a fall in new landlord instructions, the worst performance since spring 2015.
Meanwhile demand is rising with a net balance of 15 per cent more RICS members reporting an increase in demand from tenants.
The institution warns that the poor number of new landlords is set to continue, perhaps until summer, as more investors are deterred by the phased reduction in mortgage interest tax relief, which kicks in from next month.
The excess of supply over demand means RICS' expectations on rents remains firmly in the positive camp, with 24 per cent more members predicting a rise; the RICS forecast is for rents to increase by an average of 2.7 per cent by the end of 2017.