Both rental demand and asking prices have hit record highs thanks to the seven-week pause in the lettings market.

Rightmove reports that asking rents outside London hit a record £845 per month, up 3.4% on the same time last year, and the highest annual rate since 2016.

Rental enquiries across UK agencies were at an all-time high on 6th July and are now 40% up on this time last year.

And although new rental listings dropped by an average of 50% during lockdown they’re now up 1% on the same time last year, while total available stock has also risen by 1% too.

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Scotland and Wales saw the biggest gains year on year – up 10% to £786 and up 6.5% to £703 respectively.

In contrast, the capital’s asking rents started to fall throughout April and May by 0.6% and are now lower than this time last year at £2,046, according to the portal’s Rental Trends Tracker.

A surge in holiday lets landlords switching to long-term tenancies has also pushed up stock levels in cities including London – up 41% – and Edinburgh – up 34%.

Rightmove’s commercial director and housing market analyst, Miles Shipside, says this increase in rental demand may lead to further upwards price pressure, except in areas of over-supply.

He adds: “Many renters may feel they’ve been left out of the Chancellor’s recovery packages, but one glimmer of hope is that the temporary stamp duty savings may entice more investors to expand their portfolio. If this does happen, we could see more choice for tenants and in turn prices may stabilise for a while, but it will take some time.”

Rightmove’s survey of 400 landlords found that their biggest concern is their tenants falling into arrears, with 54% saying that this was a worry. Despite this, a quarter of them are still planning to expand their portfolio.

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