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UK letting market started to slow in February

The UK letting market has ground to a virtual halt amid the coronavirus pandemic, but new figures show that the market started to slow long before the government’s stricter safe distancing measures were introduced earlier this month to reduce the risk of further local transmission. 

Following a positive start to the year, the latest data from the Agency Express Property Activity Index shows a turndown in activity across the market in February. 

National month-on-month figures for new listings ‘to let’ sat at -19.3%, while properties ‘let’ during the period saw a much smaller decline at -4.3%.

Looking at performance across the UK, all 12 regions recorded by the index reported a fall in new listings ‘to let’, while just three regions reported an increase in properties ‘let’.

The largest increase for properties ‘let’ in this month’s Index was reported in central London. The increase in activity marked the region's busiest February since the index's first records in 2012. Figures for new listings ‘To Let’ remained on trend at -5.6%.

Hotpots also included the South East at 6.3% and the North West at 2%. Both recording year on year increases.

Other prominent performing regions included:

Properties ‘To Let’

Scotland -9.1%

North East -11.1%

East Midlands -13.1%

Yorkshire & Humberside -17.7%

Properties ‘Let By’

South West 0%

Wales -1.9%

London -6.9%

West Midlands -8.9%

The largest decline in this month’s Property Activity Index was recorded in the South West. 

Again, following a strong start to the year figures for new listings ‘to Let’ fell to -28.2% and figures over a three-month rolling period sat at -9.1%. 

Looking back over the index’s historical data we can see that the month on month decline in activity is the region’s largest on record for February.

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