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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Rental market activity slows

There was a sharp decline in the number of new listings, while the volume of properties let last month dipped, as reduced supply restricted choice for potential renters, according to the latest data from the Agency Express Property Activity Index.

Following a buoyant start to the year, the latest Agency Express Property Activity Index shows that national figures in February for new listings ‘to let’ dropped by 17.4%, while properties ‘let’ saw a 0.8% month-on-month decline.

Looking back over the index’s historical data, records show a greater level of activity in both new listings and properties ‘let’ in years previous.

Figures for properties ‘let’ fell for the first time in four years and the decline in supply was the largest for February since the indexes first records.

Looking at performance across the UK, just six of the 12 regions recorded by the Property Activity Index reported increases in properties ‘let’, but none recorded increases in new listings ‘to let’.

This month’s top performer was the East Midlands reporting a record best month on month increase in properties ‘let’, sitting at a robust 27.4%.

Other regional hotpots included:

Properties ‘Let By’

Scotland 30.40%

London 16.40%

South East 10.10%

Wales 4.50%

Regions to record the smallest declines were:

Properties ‘To Let’

East Midlands -1.50%

London -6.50%

Scotland -7.90%

West Midlands -9.00%

The largest overall declines in this month’s Property Activity Index were made in the North East, where new listings fell to -25.7% as did properties ‘let’ at -16.2%.

Again, looking back over the index’s historical data we can see that the drop-in activity has resulted in the region’s largest month on month decline for February since our first records.

Stephen Watson, managing director of Agency Express, said: “The Property Activity Index traditionally reports a slowdown in new listings throughout February for many regions, and it has done so since our first records in 2012.

“However, this year we have seen larger month on month declines across the board. As we move in to March we anticipate and bounce in activity so it will be interesting to see if the figures pick up to their usual pace.”

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