ARLA Propertymark has revealed that in December, the number of properties letting agents managed rose from 192 in November, to 200 in December – the highest since records began.
This is 6% higher than December 2016 when agents managed 188 properties on average per branch.
The percentage of tenants experiencing rent increases remained at 16% in December – the same amount as November when it fell to the lowest level since regards began in January 2015.
The number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions fell from 3% in November to 2.6% in December, indicating a seasonal slowdown in the number of contract negotiations.
Meanwhile, demand for rental properties increased marginally in December, from 58 prospective tenants registered per branch in November, to 59.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark’s chief executive, said: “London is officially the most expensive city to rent a property in Europe, according to recent data from ECA International. This could be due to the fact letting agents in the capital are only managing an average of 130 properties – 35% lower than the national average and the lowest level in the country.
“We need to tackle housing stock to reverse this and stop seeing rents increasing for tenants. The cost of living is already rising at an unsustainable rate and with the added pressures of rising rent costs, the dream of homeownership falls out of reach for many, even with the government cutting stamp duty for first-time buyers.
“However, it’s positive that we finished the year with the number of properties available for tenants at a record high. Here’s to a positive year for renters; cheaper rents, good living standards and a rental market which works for everyone.”