Asking rents for properties in the UK increased in the second quarter of the year, led by gains in London, Rightmove’s latest index data shows.
Asking rents in Greater London increased by 3.4% year-on-year to an average of £2,000 per month in Q2 2018, fuelled by a lack of new property choice for renters, with the supply of new rental properties down 3.5% on Q2 2017.
Outside of the capital, asking rents rose 2.7% to an average of £796 per month, though the annual rate dropped down to 0.7%, dragged down by flat annual change in the South West and a negative rate of -0.4% in the South East.
New listings are up 2.4% outside London, offering greater choice to renters.
Properties are being let out fastest in the South West taking an average of 29 days, and the slowest in North East, at an average of 44 days.
The national average masks some of the faster places to let such as Stirling, Bristol and Ashford, which all take 22 days.
In London, the time it takes to find a tenant has sped up from 44 days to 40 days, with the quickest areas being Bexleyheath (23 days), Edmonton (25 days) and Blackfen (25 days).
Rightmove’s housing market analyst Miles Shipside said: “After a few years of more plentiful supply in the London market we’ve now reached a point again where competition among tenants for a great rental home can be very high in the most popular rental areas of the capital.
“This reduced choice could be symptomatic of fewer landlords buying and some selling up as rental returns are being diminished by more onerous tax, and little or no growth in capital appreciation, along with increased demand from tenants.
“Outside London there looks to be more choice for tenants, but those looking to rent in the South West and Yorkshire and the Humber should note that properties are moving faster than this time last year so they may need to move more quickly to secure a good quality home.”