The average time it took to let a property fell over the first seven months of this year, Hamptons International’s Monthly Letting Index has revealed.
The days between instruction and offer accepted fell to 20 days in Great Britain, three days quicker than in the first seven months of 2018 and the shortest time span since our records began in January 2014.
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said: “The average time to let a home fell to 20 days this year, three days quicker than in 2018. Lower stock levels combined with increasing demand from new applicants has meant that properties have let quicker than ever before.
“Average rents rose 1.9% in Great Britain in July. Scotland posted the strongest rental growth, followed by the South West and South East. The Midlands was the only area where rents fell year-on-year.”
Every region recorded a fall in the time it took to let a property, with London reporting the biggest year-on-year decrease. It took 19 days on average to let a home in the capital during the first seven months of the year, six days quicker than during the same period in 2018.
Falling stock levels, -5.0% in the year to date, combined with increasing applicant demand (5.6%) have caused the fall.
The South West and East Midlands were the quickest regions to let a home, with each taking 18 days on average. While the North East was the slowest.
During the first seven months of the year it took 24 days on average to let a home in the North East, although this was four days faster than the first seven months of 2018. Between 2014 and 2018, one-bed properties let the fastest.
However, this year, increased demand for larger homes has meant that three-bed properties let fastest, taking 19.3 days on average.
The cost of renting a one-bedroom property has outpaced the cost of renting a three-bedroom home this year, with rents rising 2.8% on one-bedroom homes compared to 1.3% on three-bedroom homes.
This has caused more tenants to split the cost of sharing a larger home, rather than renting individually.
Meanwhile a slowing sales market has meant more families are renting while waiting to buy and adding to the demand for three-bedroom homes. Hillingdon was the local authority where it took the least time to let a home in Great Britain.
In the first seven months of 2019 it took 9.5 days on average to let a home in Hillingdon, half the average time it took in Great Britain overall.
Six out of the top 15 areas where it was quickest to let a home were in London.
Average rents on newly let properties in Great Britain increased 1.9% in July to reach £982 pcm.
Scotland recorded the strongest rental growth (5.2%), followed by the South West (4.7%) and South East (4.0%).
Meanwhile average rents in London rose 1.9% year-on-year to reach £1,714 pcm, 74% more than the Great Britain average.
The Midlands was the only region to record rent falls, with average rents decreasing 2.7% year-on-year.