The rental market is showing signs of a slowdown according to the latest report on the private rented sector by the Association of Residential Letting Agents.
The number of properties letting agents managed per branch fell to a 12-month low during October with each branch dealing with an average of 182, down from 189 in September.
It is the lowest number since October 2016, when agents managed 180 on average.
Supply also dipped last month, from 79 prospective tenants registered per branch in September, to 69.
The number of tenants experiencing rent increases also fell to the lowest level since December 2016 with just over a fifth of agents witnessing landlords hiking rent costs, down from 27 per cent in September, and a high of 35 per cent in August.
The number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions increased marginally from 2.4% in September to 2.5%. This figure also hit an extreme in August, bottoming out at 2% – the lowest seen since May 2016.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, said the figures were not that unusual for this time of the year: “While this time of year is one of the busiest for people buying and selling properties, it’s typically slower for the rental market.
“A large number of tenancies are agreed over the summer, meaning both supply and demand are usually lower in the Autumn.
“However, a lot are also agreed in the New Year and if stock remains low, competition for properties among prospective tenants will increase, which will in turn push rents up, so we must see an increase in supply over the next two months.
“With that in mind, it’s good news that the recent spate of rent increases we’ve seen seems to have slowed, but 22 per cent is still high. The cost of living continues to rise and for many, the dream of homeownership is too far out of reach.”