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Agents report unusually quiet rental property market

to let boards renting rent

Fewer would-be tenants registered with letting agents in December, while rental stock levels also dipped during the typically quieter seasonal period.

The number of new prospective tenants registered per branch fell to 63 from 86 in November, according to Propertymark’s Housing Insight report. The number of new tenancies signed also fell by 16% to six per branch. This is lower than a year ago, Propertymark's same report a year ago shows.

Stock levels followed downward seasonal trends with a marginal reduction in the number of properties available, down from 10 to nine last month, although in line with December 2022.

However, demand in the form of prospective tenant registrations outstrips these stock levels; on average, there were almost seven new applicants registered per branch for each available property.

Falling

After sustained month on month increases in the number of members who reported falling rents, Propertymark says it is surprising that there was a small uptick in December, with 35% of agents who saw rents increase (up from 31% in November), 15% who reported a fall and 49% who said they stayed the same.

Meanwhile, rental arrears continued to increase in the run-up to Christmas, to 4% of properties in arrears per branch.

CEO Nathan Emerson says there is still a supply and demand imbalance. He adds: “While rents continue to ebb and flow, with some seeing rises in December, 49% of agents reported rents staying the same suggesting some restraint.

"Looking forward to January, we can expect a lively start to the year; whether or not this sets the pace for the year as a whole will depend on the stability of the wider economy and the actions of policymakers.”

Read the report in full
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