Hopes of rental market improvement

A closely watched survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that rents were still falling, albeit more slowly than earlier this year, in part because fewer ‘accidental landlords’ are entering the market by seeking tenants for unsaleable properties. A majority of agents surveyed by RICS reported that rents were falling rather than rising in the three months to July, by a balance of 29 per cent. However, that is far less gloomy than the 55 per cent more agents who said rents were falling in a survey covering the three months to April. The study coincides with official data showing rising availability of mortgage finance and modest rises in house prices over recent months, information that could encourage home-owners to sell rather than seek a tenant, RICS said. ‘The number of properties coming on to the rental market has slowed as the sales market has begun to stabilise,’ said Jeremy Leaf, RICS spokesman. ‘Providing the housing market holds firm, the outlook for the rental market should continue to improve.’