Rightmove, the UK’s leading online property site, release details of rental trends in 2017. Their findings reveal that asking rents are holding up despite a 7% uplift in available supply.
Their data also revealed that asking rents outside of London rose by 2.8% in the Quarter 2 of 2017, which corresponds with the 2.7% average seen over the last 5 years at this time of year. Supply has also increased offering more choice to tenants, the number of available properties on the market outside of London is 7% higher than this time last year and up 8% in London. It was also revealed that Ascot led the way in the South and Salford in the North for offering the best choice for renters.
Outside of London, properties are taking 11% longer to let in comparison to Quarter 2 in 2016, and 15% longer in London. Asking rents outside of London are holding up with a 2.8% uplift (compared to the 2.7% average over the last 5 years) despite more available properties on the market. Whilst there is a 7% increase in available properties, new properties coming onto the market is down 2% outside of London. In London, available stock is up 8% and new listings down by 5%- these results correspond with the boost from last minute buy-to-let purchases before stamp duty increased in April last year.
Average rental prices in London are running lower than last year, 3.2% lower than the peak of £2020 per month compared to last year. Rightmove’s Head of Lettings, Sam Mitchell says, “Many thought that rental supply would constrict this year, as landlords sold up and looked to invest their money elsewhere, but clearly this isn’t happening yet. Perhaps landlords are remortgaging their buy-to-let properties instead, as they still feel it’s a better investment than looking to other industries.
“It could spell good news for tenants coming to the end of their lease as they might find there is slightly more choice than last year. Anyone hoping for a drop in prices due to the extra choice will be disappointed though as rents are following a very similar trend to previous years.
“In London there was disproportionate buying activity ahead of the 3% increase in stamp duty last year and that increase in supply has weighed on asking rents in the capital. Agents and landlords should make sure that they are ahead of the curve in pricing to make sure that they react quickly in a very competitive market.”
In light of this Rightmove data, landlords should be looking to improve the quality of their listings in order to avoid longer let times. Professional photography has been proven to increase tenant interest by as much as 8 times the average, whilst Featured Listings can increase click-rate by as much as 128%.