Would-be sellers continued to flood the rental market with unsellable properties at the end of last year, research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reveals.
The RICS Q4 2008 residential lettings survey shows that the num-ber of surveyors reporting a rise in rents went from -12% to -48% bet-ween Q3 and Q4 last year.
Q4’s net balance is the lowest level in the survey’s 11-year history.
Regionally, the South-West saw a marked drop in rental prices, with surveyors seeing a rise in rents go from 0% in Q3 to -73% in Q4.
Pressure on rents has been caus-ed by more property coming on to the market in recent months.
Some 46% of surveyors said they had more instructions for flats to rent than the previous quarter while 53% said they had more instructions to rent houses.
Jeremy Leaf, spokesman for RICS, says: “The marketplace has become more competitive as rel-uctant landlords continue to look to let properties that they are unable to sell.”