Rents reach record high due to lack of properties: Rightmove

Average asking rents outside London have hit more than £800 per month for the first time, according to Rightmove.

The property portal says the rent rises are fuelled by fewer available rental properties for prospective tenants to choose from as fewer property investors purchase buy-to-let properties.

Rightmove says there are 8.7 per cent fewer properties available to rent compared to this time last year and that a quarterly rent rise of 0.8 per cent is the biggest jump recorded at this time of year since 2015.

The figures coincide with a 14 per cent drop in mortgage approvals for new buy-to-let purchases compared to the same period last year.

In London, the number of available rental properties is down by 19.4 per cent. It’s now four days quicker than this time last year for a rental property to be marked ‘let agreed’ in London, down from 41 days to 37 days.

Most other regions are yet to see lower available stock translate through to a quicker time to let, with the national average of 35 days remaining the same as this time last year.

Rightmove’s commercial director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside says: “Rental demand is currently outstripping supply in many locations, especially in the capital. The exit of more landlords from the buy-to-let market in recent years has been due to a raft of different factors, from the more onerous tax regime and more stringent borrowing criteria, to the higher stamp duty on second home purchases and extra legal obligations.

“What we’re left with is a lack of available homes for tenants looking to find their next place to rent, meaning that when the right kind of property does come along it isn’t sticking around for very long before it’s snapped up.”

Scotland performed best for price growth in Q3, with a 2.8 per cent increase in asking rents leading to an annual rate of 3.8 per cent. Both Stirling and Hamilton made it into the top five areas in the UK with the highest tenant demand, alongside three areas in the North West: Ashton-Under-Lyne, Oldham, and Bootle. Glasgow made the top five for the highest growth in asking rents, now running at 5.1 per cent higher than this time last year.

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