We enquired last month when reviewing the August Index, whether rents had finally reached their peak? Looking at the evidence based on the Homelet Rental Index for September, the answer appears to a cautious Yes.
The figures are; average rents £742 pcm in September giving a -2.9% decrease from August and the annual variance from September 2012 was +3.9%.
We continue to track the market very carefully and we're seeing more and more agents with available properties that are not only sticking but where reductions are having to be effected to get them let. For example, between the period 27/9 to 1/11, the 95 agents in Norwich (postcodes NR1 - NR9) received 613 new letting instructions and during the same period 164 properties were reduced in price. 3 agents accounted for 28% of these reductions. We can't be bothered to enter an internecine feud with any of these, preferring instead to just get on with the job of letting and managing our client's properties, so we won't name those agents here. However, they're the usual suspects in terms of over-valuing properties to win the instruction. Interestingly, the same three agents had a combined dis-instruction rate of 22% (of the total dis-instructions experienced by the 95 agents in the same period). This says to us that landlords are being lured in with false promises, get fed up and then go to another agent when several weeks later their property hasn't been let - potentially having forgone several hundred pounds of lost rent in the process.
With rents sticking, property taking longer to let and fairly soon, tenant demand dropping off for the winter, it's important for Landlords to become even more discerning when selecting their agent. Get a recommendation if you can. If not, then seek out a properly regulated agent which is managed by the proprietor as they'll be much more likely to develop a long term business relationship with you based on meeting your needs. Avoid the commission hungry wherever possible.
Martin & Co Norwich offers an award winning service (as voted for by clients) and is owned and operated by Father & Son, Mike & Matt White and their team of dedicated professionals.