Outer London landlords 'cutting rents'
London’s reputation as a place where rents are sky-high and always increasing may no longer be accurate, according to new research by the National Landlords' Association (NLA).
A poll by the NLA found 16 per cent of landlords in outer London cut rents in the last year, not far short of the 23 per cent in the capital's suburbs who increased them (23 per cent).
The moderation of rental levels in outer London is particularly notable when compared with other parts of the country. Only in the north-east (18 per cent) have fewer landlords hiked rents in the past 12 months.
Outer London's low net increase in rent rises contrasts with neighbouring regions like the East of England and the south east, where 44 and 29 per cent more landlords have raised rents than cut them over the past year.
Inner London also saw plenty of reduced rents, with 14 per cent of landlords cutting their charges.
Commenting on these contrasts, chief executive of the NLA Richard Lambert said: "These findings do not mean London is suddenly going to become more affordable for renters, but it seems to confirm that the trend of a softening of tenant demand in the capital is well-established.
"Both landlords and tenants are continuing to look outside of the capital to other centres and areas commutable to London which, if anything, will only serve to push up prices in those regions."
The overall level of rental increase has moderated, chiefly because of the situation in London. The NLA noted that much of this correction may be demand-driven, as a poll it carried out early last year had shown significant falls in the number of people wanting to rent in the capital.
Despite the latest trends, the proportion of homes in the capital that are rented is still well ahead of other parts of the UK.
The English Housing Survey revealed last month that 30 per cent of households in London are privately rented, compared with 19 per cent for the rest of England.