National rental market data often throws up curveballs, but the latest Rightmove index is a weird one, to say the least.
Despite industry predictions that the rental market would see landlords withdraw as the government’s mortgage interest tax relief regulations increased many of their personal tax bills, the opposite appears to be taking place, Rightmove says.
The number of properties available to rent outside London is up 7% year-on-year, and has increased by 8% in London.
Properties are also consequently taking longer to rent, 11% longer year-on-year outside the capital and 15% longer inside it.
“Many thought that rental supply would constrict this year, as landlords sold up and looked to invest their money elsewhere, but clearly this isn’t happening yet,” says Rightmove’s Head of Lettings Sam Mitchell (pictured, left).
“It could spell good news for tenants coming to the end of their lease as they might find there is slightly more choice than last year.”
The private rented sectors is a market defying economic logic, too. Despite taking longer to rent, and more properties available to rent, asking rents continue to rise across the UK, although not in London, Rightmove says.
Outside London rents are up by 2.8% between the first and second quarters of the year, and have increased by nearly 2% year-on-year. The average annual rent for a property is now £790.
In London, asking rents are softening – a situation reflected in other recent rental indexes including the Your Move and Homelet data released over the past few weeks.
Rightmove says rents in the capital are down by 3.2% year on year. This, says Sam Mitchell, is because the rush to snap up properties last year by landlords before the extra 3% Stamp Duty was levied on buy-to-let properties has created a glut of rental properties within the market.
“Agents and landlords should make sure that they are ahead of the curve in pricing to make sure that they react quickly in a very competitive market,” he says.
Rightmove has also revealed the areas of the UK which have the most rental properties available. The list is topped by Ascot followed by Bath, Salford, Newcastle, Leeds, Cambridge, Derby, Birmingham, Cardiff, Aberdeen and Kilburn, in London.