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London rental market has the brakes on

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London rental market has the brakes on

Rental costs in London are increasing at a much slower rate than the rest of the country, according to ARLA Propertymark.

It said that rent hikes have started to slow in the capital, with only 8% of letting agents in the capital experiencing rising rents in February, compared to the national average of 25%.

A quarter of London-based agents actually saw rents decrease last month, compared to just one in 10 nationally.

Supply down
Nationally, the supply of rental stock decreased in February while demand stayed the same.

In January, the number of properties managed per branch increased to a high of 193, but this figure went back down to 183 per branch last month – a drop of 5%, but still 4% higher than February 2016.

David Cox, ARLA chief executive, said: “The fact that rent prices in London are bucking the national trend is a positive sign for both renters and prospective renters in the capital. However, this isn’t being seen across the rest of the country, as the national average for the number of agents reporting rent hikes rings alarm bells.

“While London’s results indicate a step in the right direction, it must be taken with a pinch of salt. With the imminent withdrawal of mortgage interest relief and the Government’s decision to ban letting agent fees will more than likely have the opposite effect on rental costs across the country if an out-right ban is imposed. The costs of the services provided by letting agents will need to be recouped and will inevitably be passed onto renters through increased rent.”

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