There has been a significant rise in tenant demand in recent weeks after the change to tenant fees came in on 1st June, new figures show.
Demand from tenants looking for a new place increased 7% between May and June, an uplift seven times bigger when compared to the previous four-year average of just 1% at this time of year, according to fresh data from Rightmove.
The research could suggest people are looking to move earlier than usual, as the peak in demand usually comes in July. There will also be some who have been given a new impetus to move by the removal of most tenant fees, giving them a saving of hundreds of pounds in some cases.
In London, there was a 13% increase in demand from May to June, compared to a four-year average of 4%
The increase in demand, coupled with the growing rental stock shortage, is placing upward pressure on rental values.
Nationally average asking rents, when excluding London, hit at an all-time high of £817 per month in the second quarter of the year, with the annual rate of 2.7% showing the same steady rise for the last three quarters.
Rightmove’s commercial director and housing market analyst, Miles Shipside, said: “A spike in tenants looking for a new place to live indicates some unsurprisingly held out until fees to start a new tenancy were removed by the government at the start of June.
“The ongoing shortage of quality stock could end up being exacerbated further by landlords whose tenants are now giving their notice so they can move on without paying fees, and some of those landlords then choosing to sell up rather than let it out again.
“Asking rents are at a new record, rising at nearly 3% a year as demand for quality properties outstrips supply. However, the rise in rental prices may also mean some agents or landlords have attempted to raise rents to help compensate for a loss of tenant fees. More build to rent developments with more premium offerings and rents could also be adding to the average increase.”