April 30, 2024 12:51 pm

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

New property rents are on an unyielding ascent, reaching a 17th consecutive record high. The average monthly rent outside of London now stands at £1,291, reflecting a persistent upward trend in the rental market. Data sourced from Rightmove underscores an 8.5% year-on-year surge in rental prices. Despite this substantial increase, the pace of rent growth has noticeably slowed, marking the second consecutive quarter of deceleration.

This prolonged surge in rental prices signifies ongoing challenges for tenants, particularly those seeking affordable housing options. With rents continuously climbing, tenants face mounting pressure on their finances, necessitating careful budgeting and financial planning. Additionally, the deceleration in rent growth could indicate a potential shift in the rental market dynamics, prompting landlords and tenants alike to reassess their strategies in navigating this evolving landscape.

In London, the trajectory of average advertised rents reveals a notable deceleration in rental price growth. The most recent data points to a marginal uptick of just two pounds, nudging the average monthly rent to a new pinnacle of £2,633. Despite this incremental rise, the rate of rent escalation has tapered to 5.3% compared to the preceding year, representing a discernible moderation from the zenith of 16.1% witnessed in Q3 2022.

Tim Bannister, Director of Property Science at Rightmove, provides insights into the evolving dynamics of the rental landscape. He observes that while the rental market may no longer be at its peak fervor, it remains characterized by high demand and competitive dynamics. However, there are signs of incipient shifts favoring tenants, manifesting in increased rental options and a gradual alleviation of competition among prospective renters. These nascent developments hint at a nuanced transition within the rental domain, wherein the equilibrium between supply and demand may be gradually recalibrating.

“Despite the rental market showing signs of improvement, tenants may not immediately experience the benefits in their local areas due to the persisting disparity between supply and demand, which remains far from pre-pandemic levels. The shortage of nearly 50,000 properties compared to pre-pandemic benchmarks serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for an increased supply of high-quality rental homes. Encouraging investment from landlords is paramount to address this shortfall and alleviate the pressure on the rental market.

Christian Balshen, Lettings Spokesperson at Rightmove, underscores the ongoing complexities in the rental landscape. While there’s a gradual easing of demand and a slight uptick in available properties, the market continues to struggle in meeting the high demand for rental properties, a trend that has persisted since the outbreak of the pandemic. Despite the robust demand, tenants still face challenges in affording higher rents, indicating a delicate balance between demand, supply, and affordability in the rental sector. As the market dynamics evolve, it’s essential to address these challenges holistically to ensure a sustainable and equitable rental market for all stakeholders involved.”

“We’re witnessing a notable trend of rental price growth slowing down and properties taking slightly longer to be leased in certain regions. This trend might indicate that we’re approaching a threshold in rental affordability. To mitigate prolonged vacancies, landlords should closely monitor local market dynamics, considering both rental demand and tenants’ financial capabilities when determining rental rates.

According to Rightmove, the rental market is still grappling with a significant shortfall of nearly 50,000 properties compared to pre-pandemic levels. Despite a noteworthy 11% increase in available rental properties compared to the same period last year, the current inventory remains 26% below the levels observed in 2019. This persistent imbalance between supply and demand underscores the pressing need for more investment in rental housing to meet the ongoing demand effectively.”

Similarly, there’s been a 17% decrease in the number of prospective tenants seeking rental properties compared to last year, yet it remains a substantial 54% higher than the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

Despite this, letting agents continue to grapple with a persistent demand from tenants, fielding an average of 13 inquiries per rental property. Although this figure has decreased from 19 inquiries last year, it still stands nearly three times higher than the pre-pandemic average of five inquiries in March 2019.

While average rents continue their upward trajectory, Rightmove notes a concerning trend in tenant affordability. Reductions in rental prices are currently at a five-year high for this time of the year, indicating significant strain on tenants’ financial capabilities

Currently, 22% of rental properties have seen a reduction in price, up from 16% compared to the same period last year. This marks the highest level since 2019 when it reached 23%, indicating a growing trend of landlords adjusting rents to match local market affordability.

Among the most affected are larger properties in the top-tier market segment, including four-bedroom detached houses and all properties with five bedrooms or more. A significant 30% of these top-tier properties are currently experiencing a reduction in price, setting a new record for this time of year since 2012.



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