Rental Prices Down for 2nd Month in a Row

According to LSL Property Services which owns lettings agents including Your Move and Reeds Rains, rental prices fell by 0.8% in December, having also fallen in November.

Although this may seem bad news for landlords, annual figures suggest that rents this December were some 4% higher than the same period the previous year.  Indeed, the drop this December was 0.4% less than last December, which saw rental prices drop by 1.2%.

The festive period has been blamed for the increase in the number of tenants getting into arrears (LSL reported that 10.7% of rents were either late or unpaid at the end of December).  Again, this is less than the previous December, which saw 11.7% of tenants falling into arrears.

“The rental market was sheltered from the full impact of the seasonal lull by the strength of underlying tenant demand as many prospective renters took the opportunity to move in the run-up to Christmas at a time when the market is traditionally less competitive,” said David Newnes, director of LSL.

All regions were affected by the drop in rents except for Yorkshire and the Humber, the West Midlands and the East Midlands, the LSL survey shows.  In London, monthly rent fell for the first time for a year, although have grown a massive 5.6% in the last year.

Matt Hutchinson, director of flat and house share website commented “The fact is the fundamentals have not changed.  Demand is still significantly outstripping supply of new rental stock, and while December was a quieter month for the rental market, January and February are typically two of the busiest months.

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