Rents see second successive monthly fall

Rents fell for a second successive month in December, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services plc.

In December, the average rent in England and Wales fell by 0.8% to £711 per month. Despite the monthly fall, annual rental inflation increased to 4% from 3.5% in November, as tenant demand in December surpassed that of a year ago.

On a monthly basis, rents fell in seven regions, with the biggest declines in the South East and North East, where they
fell by 1.9% and 1.4% respectively. Rents in London fell for the first time since December 2010, with rents falling by
0.9%, compared to a drop of 2.3% a year ago.

In the last 12 months rents have risen in all but two regions. The fastest rising rents on an annual basis were in London where rents rose by 5.6%. The next biggest increases were in the East and South East of England, with rents rising 5% in both regions. Rents fell in the North East and South West by 1.3% and 1.2% respectively. Despite the average rent in England and Wales falling by 0.8% December, the seasonal decrease was less than the 1.2% monthly fall recorded December 2010.