Sharp Slowdown In Rental Market Activity
A sharp slowdown in rental market activity has been recorded in the run-up to Christmas, new data reveals.
The property activity index from Agency Express highlights that the proportion of properties 'to let' in November fell by 1.6%.
However, the number of properties being 'let' dropped by 7.2% in the same month.
Looking at year-on-year comparisons, the latest figures show steeper declines than were recorded in 2016 and 2017.
The index highlights that five of the 12 regions monitored reported having increases in properties to let and four regions recorded increases in homes being let.
Largest increase for properties being let
The North East recorded the largest increase for properties being let at 33.3%, but the region also reported the sharpest decline of new listings to let at -31.3%.
The South East saw its new listings for properties to let running at 19.1%, while the proportion of properties being let is at -16.5%.
The managing director of Agency Express, Stephen Watson, said: "We have seen a much steeper decline this month than usual across the lettings market.
"And, as we move into December's seasonal slowdown, we do not expect any increases in activity so it's going to be interesting to see how the figures for the end of year stand."
Mr Watson added that while the downturn in activity for the year is unusual to witness, the 'figures remain robust'.
Agency Express also says that the seasonal trend is affecting the sale of houses with every region monitored, bar one, recording declines in both properties sold and for sale.
Tenants could get powers to tackle rogue landlords
Tenants could be handed new powers to tackle rogue landlords under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill when it completes its passage through Parliament.
The result is that both social and private tenants in England will have powers for taking their landlord to court should their home be deemed unsafe.
The law will make clear that when a tenancy starts, the landlord must ensure that the property is in a habitable condition and remains that way throughout the tenancy.
If landlords fail to do this, tenants can now seek legal redress through the courts without having to approach their council first.
Negligent landlords will be required to pay compensation or remove hazards.
The private member’s bill was introduced by Karen Buck MP and it is being backed by the National Landlords’ Association and the Residential Landlords’ Association.