Although the rents themselves are still rising, the rate of increase has started to moderate after peaking in mid-2011 – the net balance having eased from +21 down to +13 in January.
This means that 13% more surveyors who responded have seen rents increasing rather than decreasing.
Expectations for the future show are that over the next 3 months rents will rise at a slower pace then they currently have been. The suggestion from respondents is that after 12 months of strong gains rents are starting to plateau.
As normal differences are experienced across the regions and in January the South East has seen the strongest growth in rent rises, net balance of approximately +34.
At the other end of the graph, the North has seen a marginal fall in net balance of rents, but only just into the negative territory.
The demand for rental properties from tenants remained positive across the UK with the net balance being unchanged from October 2011, standing at +19.
Both flats and houses are in demand and pretty equal at +18 and +19 respectively. Whereas the share of rentals by private individuals increased to 79% of the total of new lets, up from 71% in October 2011.
Social tenants were 8%, students 4%, corporate lets 7% and remaining unclassified.
New instructions from landlords was still positive, but at a more modest rate, down to +8 from +10. The split of these instructions for flats versus houses was up, although house instructions slightly stronger.
The percentage of private landlords fell to 71% of the total as opposed to 76% in October. Propert companies have 11% of the market, financial institutions with 7%. The remaining 11% was unclassified.