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Asking rents reach record high as available property numbers decline

A drop in the number of available rental properties on the market has pushed average asking rents to their highest ever levels.

Outside of London, average asking rents now stand above £800 for the first time as the number of available units fell by 8.7% compared to the same time quarter year.

However, it’s a slightly different story in London where average asking rents have dropped slightly from £2,000 to £1,992 despite there being 19.4% fewer available properties on the market.

Demand in the capital is still extraordinarily high though with letting agents finding tenants for available units four days faster than at the same time in 2017 – Just 37 days.

One factor contributing to the lack of available rental properties, on top of house-building struggling to match demand, is the number of new mortgage approvals for buy-to-let mortgages which have fallen 14% compared to last year.

On the results, Rightmove Commercial Director Miles Shipside said that: “Rental demand is currently outstripping supply in many locations, especially in the capital.

“The exit of more landlords from the buy-to-let market in recent years has been due to a raft of different factors.”

Shipside noted higher stamp duty on second homes and more stringent borrowing criteria as two of the key factors affecting the number of buy-to-let players in the market.

“What we’re left with is a lack of available homes for tenants looking to find their next place rent, meaning hay when the right kind of property does come along it isn’t sticking around for very long before it’s snapped up.”

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Although the number of specific, high-quality built-to-Let ah ends has increased, its likely that the shortage of bailable units will continue to support rises in asking rents, in particular within urban hubs where a high proportion of the residing populous lives in rented accommodation.

Some of the highest asking rent growth areas over the last 12 months include Willenhall (+7.8%), Clacton-On-Sea (+7.7%) and St. Leonards-on-Sea (+5.8%).

Areas recording the strongest growth levels in terms of demand for rental properties include Ashton-Under-Lyme, Stirling, Oldham, Hamilton and Bootle.

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