After months of significant rises, new figures suggest rent levels in the UK are finally beginning to stabilise.
According to new figures from the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA), in the first quarter of this year, 50 per cent of its members reported increased achievable rent levels.
But while this still signifies healthy rental returns for landlords, this figure has fallen from 60 per cent nine months ago, indicating that a downward trend is being established.
ARLA president Tim Hyatt said: "Our data suggests that things could be changing in the private rented sector as the amount being charged for rent is beginning to stabilise in some parts of the UK.
"This could be due to a number of factors, including an increase in haggling forcing rent levels down."
ARLA's survey also found that the average void period - the length of time for which a rental property is un-tenanted - rose for the second successive quarter, to an average three weeks.
This could make it increasingly important for property owners to take out landlord buildings insurance which provides cover between tenancies, meaning the property is protected when unoccupied.
"Our members also report a decline in the number of properties coming onto the rental market because they can't be sold, suggesting that the initial boom in 'reluctant landlords' joining the private rented sector is coming to an end," said Mr Hyatt.
Despite this, the private rented sector is still experiencing significant undersupply issues, particularly in certain parts of the country.
"We know anecdotally that this is by no means a consistent picture across the UK, as there is still a huge demand for rental property in some parts of the country," said Mr Hyatt.
"Ultimately, the key challenge of undersupply has not been solved and there is still a need to provide the right housing, in the right places, across the wider housing market."
Posted by Jason Randall