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UK rental market activity slows in April

There was a decline in the number of properties let last month, as a fall in supply restricted choice for prospective renters, fresh data from the Agency Express Property Activity Index shows.

The percentage of properties ‘let’ dropped to sit at -9.1%, owed in part to a 9.4% fall in the volume of homes ‘to let’, according to April’s figures.

The data appears consistent with the latest UK Finance reports which show that there has been a significant fall in the number of buy-to-let landlords looking to add to their property portfolios, with some looking to exit the market altogether due to recent tax changes and tougher mortgage rules.

Looking at performance across the UK, only two of the 12 regions recorded by the Property Activity Index reported a rise in new listings ‘to let’ as well as homes ‘let by’. 

Here are the regions that recorded the smallest declines in this month’s index:

Properties ‘To Let’

  • Central England -1.7%
  • Yorkshire & Humberside -4.6%
  • West Midlands -5.9%
  • Wales -8.30%
  • North West -8.9%

Properties ‘Let By’

  • Yorkshire & Humberside -1%
  • Central England - 2.8%
  • Scotland -4.6%
  • East Midlands -6.4%
  • North East -6.4%

The largest decline in this month’s index was recorded in Wales, where properties ‘let’ fell to -25%.

Stephen Watson, managing director of Agency Express, commented: “We traditionally see a slowdown in activity throughout April and this month is no different. However, if we look back on the Property Activity Index’s historical records we can see that the declines made this year are less that twelve months previous.

“As we now move in to what is usually a robust period for the market we would hope to see a fairy robust spike in activity.”

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