Are Rents Beginning To Stop Their Long Slowslide ?

Date Published 24 July 2009

Rents across the UK are finally showing signs of stabilising, after prolonged falls because of saturated supply.

Average monthly rents went up 0.3% in June to £641 – a rise of just £2 from May.

But this was after a continuous monthly drop, altogether amounting to a decline of 11%, since their high in August 2008.

The number of new tenants registering to rent has gone up 18% in the last 12 months.

`Since last summer, rents have been forced down by a huge increase in the supply of stock on the lettings market. However, a rapid rise in demand from tenants in May and June has helped redress the balance and stopped the downward pressure on rents.`

Tenants signing a lease in June 2009 are saving an average of £624 a year compared with tenants who moved into rented accommodation in June 2008, when typical monthly rents stood at £693 per month.

One reason for today’s lower rents is that tenants are haggling. Website FindaProperty says an online survey it carried out this month, involving almost 2,000 tenants, indicated that almost three-quarters are or will be negotiating a rent reduction. Most want 5–10% knocked off.

The site reports rental stock levels nearly 70% higher than in June 2008.

In London, as opposed to the whole of the UK, rents have been falling for 15 months in a row, according to FindaProperty’s sister site Primelocation.

It reports that prime rental properties are still flooding on to the market, but that the growth rate is finally slowing. The rate of the rise of new rental properties on the market is the lowest since April 2008.