A surprising one in seven lettings agents is now reporting a fall in rents rather than a rise.
Although far more agents are still reporting rises - 44 per cent - the 14 per cent seeing falls is sharply up on just four per cent a month ago.
All this data comes on the latest lettings market snapshot from agents’ trade body Propertymark.
It says the number of new prospective tenants registered per member branch has been decreasing month on month since July when it stood at 124. In October - the latest available monthly figure - the number of registrations stands at 86, a significant drop.
Furthermore, Propertymark says a closer look at the data reveals that the average number of prospective tenants registered between January and October 2023 was broadly similar to the same period in 2022 (109 vs 108 respectively).
The average number of properties available to rent per member branch reduced marginally in October over September. This level of supply remains significantly below the current level of new applicants registered.
The average number of new tenaces agreed per member branch has remained relatively static since mid-summer although Propertymark says it expects a downward turn as we edge closer to December.
Continuing last month’s trend, fewer agents reported seeing rising rents in their branches during October 2023 (44 per cent) than during the previous three months (September 52 per cent, August 68 per cent and July 71 per cent).
Furthermore, the number of agents reporting falling rents rose from four per cent in September to 14 per cent in October.
Regardless, a larger proportion of agents reported a rise than a fall. Although economic pressures may be abating, they have not entirely dissipated and Propertymark anticipates that the upward pressure on rents is likely to continue in the short term.
This month, the average void period between tenancies is slightly lower than in September but is equal to the year- to-date average at 2.3 weeks.
This is marginally lower than the same period in 2022 but is also equal to the three year average suggesting little material change.