Rents over three prime London areas rose by 1.9 per cent in the final quarter of 2018 according to property data consultancy LonRes.
Only 31 per cent of properties cut their asking rents before securing a tenant - down from 41 per cent for the same quarter of 2017 - while tenants negotiated an average 4.9 per cent off the asking rent, again down from 6.4 per cent a year earlier.
Over 2018 as a whole some 13 per cent fewer properties reached the market than in 2017; in particular, most LonRes member agents report an under-supply of studios and one-bedroom apartments.
With an increase in the number of renewed tenancies, new lets agreed dropped in the final quarter of last year - 17 per cent fewer than for the same period of 2017.
But with fewer properties available to rent, finding a tenant is now a quicker process; 30 per cent of properties let in prime London from October to December found a tenant within a month of listing, the highest proportion for four years.
“Stock levels are low and competition amongst prospective tenants is leading to increases in achieved rents in most London areas; fewer landlords are needing to reduce their asking prices and discounts have fallen back” explains Marcus Dixon, head of research at LonRes.