UK rental market cools in April

Following a robust month for the UK rental market in March, April’s figures from the Agency Express Property Activity Index have shown a sharp decline in both ‘To Let’ and ‘Let By’ properties. National figures for new listings ‘To Let’ sat at -19.7% while properties ‘Let’ sat at -22.1%. The fall in figures marked the largest month on month decline for April since the index’s first records in 2012.

Recent reports from ARLA Propertymark have also highlighted declines across the private rental market. Chief Executive, David Cox said: “Our monthly Private Rented Sector (PRS) report shows that since the Stamp Duty reforms came into effect last April, letting agents have seen the supply of rental stock decrease."  He also went on to comment:  " We’re facing a severe housing shortage at the moment, and if the supply of rental stock falls any lower relative to demand for housing, we’ll find ourselves in the midst of a real crisis.”

Looking at performance across the rest of the UK the slowdown in activity continued. All of the 12 regions recorded by the Property Activity Index reported a fall in properties ‘To Let’ and ‘Let By’.

The regions to record the smallest declines in this month’s index included:

Properties ‘To Let’

  • West Midlands -13.4%
  • East Midlands -13.5%
  • North West -14.1%

Properties ‘Let By’

  • Scotland -2.8%
  • Yorkshire & Humberside -13.3%
  • North West 18.2%

The largest declines recorded in this month’s Property Activity Index were made in London. New listings ‘To Let’ fell to sit at -24.3% as did properties ‘Let’ sitting at -26.1%. Looking at the index’s rolling three monthly data the decline is less with new listings sitting at -4.7% and properties ‘Let’ at -3.3, but the fall in figures remains greater than those recorded 12 months previous.

Commenting on the latest Property Activity Index lettings report, Stephen Watson Managing Director of Agency Express said: This month we have witnessed a slowdown across the UK rental market. While our figures will be affected by the bank holiday weekends and reduced number of working days, the fall in activity seems greater than what we would anticipate. As we now move in to what is usually a robust period for the market, it will be interesting to see what advances are made in light of the difficulties that landlords and agents face.

Monthly % Changes for April 2017

% Changes for Feb - April 2017

New Listings
% Change over last 12 months vs Previous 12 months

Properties Let
% Change over last 12 months vs Previous 12 months

New Listings Properties Let
Apr 17 Apr 16 Apr 17 Apr 16
NATIONAL -19.7 12.5 -22.1 8.6
Central England -22.5 27.6 -21.8 8.3
East Anglia -16.7 7.2 -25.2 -1.4
East Midlands -13.5 29.1 -26.9 9.6
London -24.3 21.1 -26.1 30.4
North East -20.2 -4.6 -20.6 7
North West -14.1 13 -18.2 13.6
Scotland -18.9 15.1 -2.8 5.5
South East -24 5.4 -25.1 6.4
South West -19.8 10.8 -26.1 7.7
Wales -29.2 7.5 -20 24
West Midlands -13.4 2.8 -23 8.3
Yorks & Humber -21 19.2 -13.3 -3.9
New Listings Properties Let
Feb -
Dec 17
Feb -
Apr 16
Feb -
Apr 17
Feb -
Apr 16
NATIONAL -6.8 1.4 -3 3.3
Central England -5.7 2.8 -2.7 0.9
East Anglia -10.6 -1.2 -1.2 2.5
East Midlands 1.8 3.9 -4.5 1.9
London -4.7 7 -3.3 14.8
North East -6.5 7.5 -4.7 9.9
North West -5.3 6.4 -4.2 4.9
Scotland -7 3.3 4.9 6.4
South East -10.1 -4.1 -1.8 -1
South West -6.4 0.8 -5.7 1.2
Wales -13.9 -7.7 -6.7 4.3
West Midlands -1.1 5.2 -0.6 3.2
Yorks & Humber -6.9 0.8 -3.3 0.5
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