Rents have fallen in most regions of the UK for the first time in at least five years, according to data published by Rightmove.
Outside of London, national asking rents fell by 0.2% in the three months to September. Rents in the south east of England saw the biggest drop, falling by 2.3% over the period.
Asking rents in London have continued their downward trajectory this month, now sitting at £1,920, their lowest level for this time of year since 2013.
The summer months are usually the busiest time of year for tenants seeking to rent a new property, making the fall particularly significant.
This is the first time rents have fallen nationally since Rightmove started tracking rents in 2011.
The decline in rents has been blamed on investors who have seen rental yields and property values fall in London start buying properties outside the Capital in search of a better return on their investment.
Sam Mitchell, Rightmove’s head of listings, said; “Since last April’s second home stamp duty changes came in the supply of new rental properties in the south east has been steadily increasing, up 5.5% on this time last year.”
The survey by Rightmove also shows that properties are taking 8% longer to find a tenant outside of London and 5% longer inside the city compared to this time last year.
“Agents are reporting that some investors looking for better yields are shifting their focus from London to instead buy in the surrounding counties of Surrey, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The increase in stock in the south east has led to softening in rents in some areas where there is less competition among tenants.”
The fall in rents will add to the pressure on many landlords’ finances, which have already suffered as a result of the introduction of Section 24, which phases out mortgage interest tax relief, the hike in Stamp Duty and the cap on tenants’ deposits.
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