The number of rental homes available in London dropped sharply in April, while only increasing marginally across the rest of the UK, new figures show.
The latest report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA Propertymark) also shows that the growing supply-demand imbalance is driving up rental values with fewer tenants attempting to negotiate rent reductions.
Across the UK as a whole, the number of properties managed per branch rose, from 183 to 185, but the volume of homes in London managed per member branch fell by 32% from 148 in March to 101 in April.
With fewer properties to choose from, the number of rental applicants negotiating rent reductions fell during April, with 2.8% of agents seeing rent reductions, down from 3.6% in March.
The study also found that the number landlords selling their buy-to-let properties remained the same, with an average of four selling per branch.
In March, the number of landlords selling up increased from three to four for the first time since November 2016, when the letting agent fees ban was announced.
In terms of tenure, the findings also reveal that tenants stayed in their rental accommodation for an average of 17 months in April, down from 18 months the previous month. This is the first time since June 2016 the average length of a tenancy has dropped to a figure this low.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, said: “Although the rental market in London has seen a large drop in the supply of properties available to rent, it’s a different picture in the rest of the UK where we have seen little or no change to activity since March.
"It’s likely we’re seeing the rest of the rental market outside of the capital plateau as a result of the election in June, with renters potentially holding back on their property searches until after 8th June.
“It’s important that housing is at the top of the new government’s agenda, as we have had two elections and a referendum in the last three years which is stalling the policy process meaning that we do not have the right houses available to provide the homes people need.”
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