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Letting market activity slows in August

There was a sharp drop in letting market activity in August, according to the latest figures from the Agency Express Property Activity Index. 

National month-on-month figures show that properties ‘to let’ fell 16.5% and properties ‘let’ dropped 16.2%. 

The fall in activity had been anticipated, but looking back over the index’s archive data we can see that this year’s declines are greater than those recorded in 2019, where new listings fell 11.3% and properties ‘let’ dropped 8.1%.

Looking at activity across the 12 regions recorded by the Property Activity Index, all regions bar one reported falls in both properties ‘to let’ and ‘let’. 

Scotland was the only region to buck the trend in this month’s index with a month on month increase in figures for properties ‘let’ at 3.4%.

Regions to record the smallest month on month declines were:

Properties ‘To Let’

  • East Anglia 8.4%

  • South West 11.1%

  • Scotland 11.6%

  • Wales 12.7%

  • East Midlands 13.9%

Properties ‘Let’

  • North West 12.1%

  • Central England 14.1%

  • South West 14.5%

  • South East 14.8%

  • East Midlands 15.2%

The largest overall falls on this month’s index were recorded in Yorkshire and Humberside. 

New listings ‘to let’ dropped 19.4%, while properties ‘let’ sat at 24.8%. 

Looking at the index’s historical records, it is clear that this year’s declines are greater than those recorded in 2019 and 2018.

Stephen Watson, managing director of Agency Express, said: “Throughout August we typically see a slowdown across the UK lettings market. However, the decline in figures this year has been greater than years previous. 

“Moving into September we still expect to see figures recover but with this month’s lull it will be interesting to see how the bounce fairs compared to 2019.” 

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