Rents fell for a second successive month in December, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services plc.
In December, the average rent in England and Wales fell by 0.8% to £711 per month. Despite the monthly fall, annual rental inflation increased to 4% from 3.5% in November, as tenant demand in December surpassed that of a year ago.
The firm, which owns national chains such as Your Move and Reeds Rains, found that on a monthly basis, rents fell in seven regions, with the biggest declines in the South East and North East, where they fell by 1.9% and 1.4% respectively. Rents in London fell for the first time since December 2010, with rents falling by 0.9%, compared to a drop of 2.3% a year ago.
In the last year rents have risen in all but two regions. The fastest rising rents on an annual basis were in London where rents rose by 5.6%. The next biggest increases were in the East and South East of England, with rents rising 5% in both regions. Rents fell in the North East and South West by 1.3% and 1.2% respectively.
Despite the average rent in England and Wales falling by 0.8% December, the seasonal decrease was less than the 1.2% monthly fall recorded December 2010.
David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “The seasonal relief continued for tenants as rents dipped again in December