The average advertised rent in Great Britain fell by 0.43% in the first quarter of 2013, according to Move with Us’s Rental Index covering the first three months of the year.
After an initial fall just after the Christmas slowdown, rents stabilised throughout late January and February before falling by a further 0.25% in March.
However, Move with Us said this is a relatively small change and, if examined as part of a yearly trend, suggests that average rents are stable, fluctuating at around £969 per month. This highlights that rents are at equilibrium, with changes in supply causing minor fluctuations in the prices.
Robin King, director of Move with Us, said the current quarterly trend suggests that rents could fall further in the coming months, though if this is the case it should be by less than 0.5%.
He added: “However, the long term trend indicates that advertised rents are more likely to remain at a similar figure, with possible increases close to the rate of inflation.
“The first quarter of 2013 saw significant changes in the regional trends when compared to the second half of 2012. As advertised rents in the North grew at a slower pace than 2012, the South of England remains much stronger than the rest of the country with a £121 gap between the cheapest southern region and the most expensive of all other regions.
“In comparison, the North East and East Midlands have seen some of the larger price increases of 2012 offset by a fall in advertised rents in Q1. While advertised rents in both London and Wales fell for a second quarter, the rents in these regions have now returned to levels close to those of January 2012.
“The most consistent regions in Q1 were Scotland and East Anglia, with rental prices in both increasing at a steady rate throughout. Advertised rents in Scotland appear to have recovered from a difficult end to 2012, seeing two successive quarters of stable rental price growth which is likely to continue throughout 2013.
Yorkshire & Humber remains on an upward growth path, despite rents falling in the early part of the quarter. Advertised rents also increased in the North West and South East, though they remained at around the same level throughout March.”