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Momentum improves but outlook for the letting market remains unpredictable

There was a significant increase in both the number of new listings and properties let last month, but the rental market still remains extremely volatile, according to Agency Express.

Following a slowdown throughout the UK letting market in February, the latest Agency Express Property Activity Index shows that national figures for properties ‘let’ saw a 16.4% month-on-month rise while new listings ‘to let’ rose 12.2%.

Looking at performance across the UK, all 12 regions recorded by the Property Activity Index reported increases in new listings ‘to let’ as well as homes ‘let’. 

March’s top performing region was London, with homes to let increasing by 28.2% month-on-month, marking the capital’s largest rise for the month of March since the index’s first records in 2012.

Various other regions also performed well last month, including the West Midlands, which is actually the only region to record consistent increases since the start of the year, with properties ‘let’ sat at 18.3% and new listings ‘to let’ sat at 8%.

Properties ‘To Let’

+ London +28.2%

+ South East +22.9%

+ Yorkshire & Humberside +19.5%

+ South West +17%

+ Wales +17%

Properties ‘Let By’

+ East Midlands +32.2%

+ East Anglia +31.1%

+ Central England +19.8%

+ London +19.6%

+ North East +18.6%

+ West Midlands +18.3%

Stephen Watson, managing director of Agency Express, said: “Throughout March we typically see an increase in activity across the UK lettings market, and this month figures did surpass those recorded in 2016. However, between the demand for buy-to-let loans seemingly decreasing since the stamp duty hike, and the recent tax relief changes it is difficult to say what the forthcoming months may hold. We may see some landlords selling off their properties as a result of the changes.” 

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