Rents are rising faster outside London than in the capital for the first time since 2010, new figures show.

In the last 12 months, London has gone from the region with the second fastest rate of rental growth in Britain to the slowest, according to property firm Countrwide’s latest monthly lettings index.

In November the average London rent was 0.7% lower than last year, the sharpest fall since October 2010 when the average rent stood at £901 a month.

The gap between rents in London and the rest of Britain has steadily grown over the last five years – by last year the gap had reached a record £490 a month, up from £150 a month in 2010.

However, rents in the capital are now growing at a slower rate than the rest of the UK, meaning that the gap between London and the rest has now closed.

Experts claim this decline has been driven by a surge in the number of homes available to rent in the capital.

In November there were 32% more homes to rent in London than 12 months ago, while the number of would-be tenants rose by just 9%.

Johnny Morris, Research Director at estate agent Countrywide said a greater number of homes on offer means tenants are now being savvier with their negotiating skills – using this to their advantage to secure a lower rate.

Read More

Tenants’ rights explained

“Stock growth has outstripped that of tenants. This is in part due to the hangover from the rush to beat the 3% stamp duty charge earlier in the year and a shift in stock from the sales market.

“With more choice and facing stretched affordability, many tenants are using their new found negotiating power to agree lower rents than in 2015,” he explains.

For UK house-buyers, the property market has taken a blow this Christmas , with prices in England and Wales down 2% in December year-on-year, according to Rightmove figures released today.

The property website said asking prices fell back below the £300,000 mark in December, taking the average asking price to £299,159 in December, from £305,670 on November.

The firm also warned that sellers in London aren’t in for a good start to 2017 – with asking prices predicted to fall by 5% in coming months, as the bubble “continues to deflate”

Read More

Undercover first time buyer – one man’s quest to buy a home of his own