The number of letting agents reporting rent increases has fallen for the first time this year, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
Some 33% of agents reported that landlords increased rents during August – the lowest figure recorded since April this year and a 4% decrease when compared to July.
Regionally, though, the figures vary. In the South West, 42% of agents reported rent rises in August, 4% higher than in the previous month.
In Wales, the number of landlords putting rents up increased from 11% in July to 36% in August.
On the other hand, in the North West just 12% of letting agents said they witnessed rent increases last month.
The supply of rental property has also fallen, ARLA reports, from an average of 189 properties per letting agency branch in July to 178 in August.
Meanwhile tenant demand increased marginally during August, up to 36 prospective tenants per agency branch from 35 the month before.
“Our findings this month are good news for the majority of tenants, as less are experiencing rent hikes. However, a third of agents are still seeing landlords pushing rents up, which reflects the sorry state of affairs in the market,” says David Cox, ARLA managing director.
“With increasing pressure on the dwindling supply of housing, and the number of house-hunters growing, rent increases are unfortunately very common – as one in three tenants are experiencing. Despite the fact they have fallen this month, it's likely they will go back up again over the next few months,” he adds.