Rental growth expectations remain “slightly positive” across most of the UK according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors market snapshot.
The assessment is based on surveyor sentiment rather than hard data, but RICS says its lettings sector members in most parts of the country anticipate an increase in volumes and rent from early in 2021.
However in December - for the third consecutive month - a net balance of in excess of 60 per cent of respondents expect rents to fall in London over the coming three months, making the capital city a clear exception to the rest of the UK.
There’s also bad news for London from the Home website, which runs a monthly monitor on the lettings market.
Its December index says overall supply in the UK rental sector is 1.4 per cent down year-on-year, with particularly severe shortages are to be found in most English regions and in Wales, forcing up rents.
The largest annualised hikes are in Wales (up a huge 16.2 per cent) and the West Midlands (up slightly more at 17.0 per cent).
But Home says the Greater London area now shows acute oversupply in properties available to rent - a rise of 54 per cent over the year.
Rents in the capital are in freewill, claims Home, down 16.0 per cent in 2020.
“This dire situation is having a severe knock-on effect for the capital’s buy-to-let sales market” the site concludes.
Recent research by flat sharing website SpareRoom also spells bad news for London’s lettings market in the near term at least.
According to the research, 27 per cent of renters in the capital plan to move after the pandemic has come to an end, with half of them determined to leave the city completely.
“With 60 per cent of all renters who plan on moving post-Covid-19 are not looking to move to a major city, a wider shift away from city living looks likely” says the website.