The remaining overhand of last year’s buy to let buying surge by landlords means the annual rate of rent rises has slowed thanks to a 12 per cent surge in available units.
The data, from Rightmove, means that its calculation of average rents rising by 1.8 per cent is the lowest for 18 months and less than half the 3.9 per cent recorded in early 2016 before the rush to buy properties ahead of the stamp duty three per cent surcharge.
This uplift in available properties means it is taking 10 per cent longer for letting agents to secure suitable tenants than this time last year, and almost 20 per cent longer in London.
The time it takes to let a property has been calculated based on agents who have marked properties as ‘let agreed’ on Rightmove.
In London, asking rents rose 1.5 per cent compared to last quarter, but annually the price fell by 4.2%. Rightmove says rental prices have been falling over the past year in London as stock has been increasing, so it’s not a surprise that it is the most affected region for the length of time to secure a tenant, with properties now taking a fifth longer to let than this time last year.
“The supply boost following last year’s buy to let frenzy in the first few months of the year has continued through to 2017, introducing more competition in the market for letting agents trying to secure suitable tenants for their landlords’ properties” says Rightmove’s head of lettings, Sam Mitchell.
“However, agents are still reporting that well-priced properties in popular areas are letting quickly. The new tax changes that started to phase in from this month may also lead to some landlord’s selling off properties and the extra stamp duty on buy to lets may deter some landlords from expanding their portfolios, so now seems to be the right time for tenants who want to have more choice to look around” he adds.