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Quarter of London letting agents report rent falls

Rent increases have slowed in London with only eight per cent of agents reporting increases last month - and a quarter reporting falls. 

Across the country as a whole 25 per cent of agents reported rent increases and 10 per cent saw drops in February.

The data comes from the latest Association of Residential Letting Agents market report. 

Nationally, the number of properties letting agents managed per branch decreased by five per cent last month from January’s 193 to 183 last month. 

However, this is a four per cent increase from February 2016, when there were 176 properties managed per branch.

In February, there were 34 prospective tenants registered per member branch – this is the same number as January, but down year on year with 37 registered in February 2016 and 40 in February 2015.

“The fact that rent prices in London are bucking the national trend is a positive sign for both renters and prospective renters in the capital. However, this isn’t being seen across the rest of the country, as the national average for the number of agents reporting rent hikes rings alarm bells” says David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive. 

“With the imminent withdrawal of mortgage interest relief and the government’s decision to ban letting agent fees will more than likely have the opposite effect on rental costs across the country if an outright ban is imposed. The costs of the services provided by letting agents will need to be recouped and will inevitably be passed onto renters through increased rent” he warns.

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