The most recent report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA has revealed that the cost of renting in London is increasing at a slower rate than the rest of the country.
Data from the investigation shows that rent increases are slowing in the capital. Just 8% of ARLA based in London noted that rents rose during February, in comparison to the national average of 25%.
In addition, 25% of London-based agents said they saw rents fall last month, in comparison to one in ten nationally.
Nationally, the total number of properties being managed by agents per branch fell by 5% last month. During January, the average number of properties managed per branch hit 193, but this slipped to 183 per branch in the last month.
This still represents a 4% increase from February 2016, when there were 176 properties managed per branch, indicating that stock could well be rising.
During February, there were 34 prospective tenants registered per member branch-the same figure as in January. However, these figures were down year-on-year, with 37 registered in February 2016 and 40 in February 2015.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, observed: ‘The fact that rent prices in London are bucking the national trend is a positive sign for both renters and prospective renters in the Capital. However, this isn’t being seen across the rest of the country, as the national average for the number of agents reporting rent hikes rings alarm bells.’
‘While London’s results indicate a step in the right direction, it must be taken with a pinch of salt. With the imminent withdrawal of mortgage interest relief and the Government’s decision to ban letting agent fees will more than likely have the opposite effect on rental costs across the country if an out-right ban is imposed. The costs of the services provided by letting agents will need to be recouped and will inevitably be passed onto renters through increased rent,’ Cox went on to warn.