Rents continued to rise in January
The average rent increased by 0.1% from December to January, a traditionally quiet period for the rental market.
It was the first January increase in rents ever recorded by LSL Property Services, which said that tenants were trying to take advantage of the quiet period.
With many potential first-time buyers unable to afford to buy a property, demand for rented accommodation has soared and homes are being let in record time.
LSL, which owns estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains said that the average rent increased to £712 a month in January, while it London it hit a hefty £1,032.
Tenants in the West Midlands and South West suffered the biggest increase in rents while in four regions rents actually fell.
The South East and Wales benefited from the biggest declines, with a fall of 1.7% and 1.5% respectively.
David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, said: “The depth of the underlying demand sustained a higher level of competition for rental property during the Christmas period, preventing more severe falls in rents than we’d normally see during the period.”
Meanwhile, with the end of the stamp duty holiday in sight, there was a slight increase in house sales in January, according to the latest UK Housing market survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Twelve per cent more surveyors reported an increase in newly agreed sales in January, than those reporting a fall.
The stamp duty concession on properties under £250,000 ends on 24 March and this is creating an increase in sales at the lower end of the market.
However house prices continued to fall in January, with 16 per cent more surveyors reporting price falls rather than increases.
Michael Newey, housing spokesman of Rics, said: “With first-time buyers no longer exempt from stamp duty as of the end of March, it seems that some are looking to purchase homes before the deadline and, as a result, surveyors are relatively optimistic for the coming months.”