Page last updated at 09:49 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 10:49 UK

Downward trend in UK rents 'ends'

Let boards
Rents fell when the property market was flat

Typical UK rents remained unchanged in May after nine consecutive months of falls, according to a property website.

The average asking rent remained at £819 a month, said Findaproperty.com, although this was still 5.5% lower than the same month a year ago.

A rising supply of flats meant these were becoming cheaper to let, in contrast to houses.

Every area of the UK has seen average rents fall in the past year, the survey of 414,000 properties suggested.

'Competition'

There has been an increase in "accidental landlords" who have been forced to let their properties during the housing market slump because they are unable to sell them.

TYPICAL MONTHLY RENTS
Brighton: £1,058
Cardiff: £737
Newcastle: £756
Birmingham: £650
Nottinghamshire: £580
Sheffield: £542
Source: Findaproperty.com

As a result tenants have been in a position to haggle for lower rents or incentives - such as the inclusion of basic bills in the rent.

"With such a dramatic increase in available properties over the past 12 months, the competition to secure and retain tenants is fierce," the group said.

But the survey reported that the rate at which more properties had come onto the rental market in May had slowed compared with a year ago.

Yet there are differences depending on the type of properties on the market, according to Andrew Smith, head of research at Findaproperty.com.

"The flat market seems to be lagging behind [houses] with increasing supply levels and asking rents that continue to fall," he said.

UK breakdown

The largest month-on-month increase in rents came in Scotland, the survey found, where the average rose by 0.9% in May to £693 a month.

Driven by rises in rent for properties in Birmingham, there was a 0.3% rise in typical asking rents in the West Midlands. London and the South East of England also saw average rents increase slightly.

Other regions all saw a fall in average asking rents, with the biggest drop - of 1.6% - seen in the East Midlands, the survey found.

But the figures show that every nation and region in the UK had lower average asking rents in May than the same month last year.

"There is still a long way to go until the recovery is in full swing," said Mr Smith.



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Telegraph Buy-to-let: rental market 'may have bottomed out' - 45 hrs ago
Sky News Rental Slide Stops After Long Decline - 49 hrs ago



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