Rents to settle down
Rental prices in the private rental sector could be levelling out, figures from the Association of Residential Letting Agents reveal.
In the first quarter of the year 50% of the association's members reported increased achievable rent levels in line with news of rising rents across the UK.
The association however said the percentage of members reporting this had fallen from 60% nine months ago indicating that a downward trend was being established.
Over the same timeframe the average void period rose for the second successive quarter to an average three weeks.
ARLA members also reported a decline in the number of new tenancies being signed, a factor which although not unusual for this time of year may also indicate decreasing demand from tenants or be a reflection of their inability to afford the rents being charged.
It could equally be nothing more than the effect of tenants staying longer in their property said the association.
Tim Hyatt, president of ARLA, said: "Our data suggests that things could be changing in the private rental sector as the amount being charged for rent is beginning to stabilise in some parts of the UK. This could be due to a number of factors, including an increase in haggling forcing rent levels down.
"Our members also report a decline in the number of properties coming onto the rental market because they can't be sold, suggesting that the initial boom in ‘reluctant landlords' joining the PRS is coming to an end.
"However we know anecdotally that this is by no means a consistent picture across the UK, as there is still a huge demand for rental property in some parts of the country."
Hyatt concluded that ultimately the key challenge of undersupply had not been solved and there was still a need to provide the right housing in the right places across the wider market.
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