The just published Homelet Rental Index for April 2013 shows average rents for East Anglia rose in April to £702 pcm up 0.7% from March and up 6.2% from a year ago.
We flagged in our Newsletter last month, based on the March Rental Index, we felt market rents were peaking and that we wouldn't be at all surprised to see rents flattening in the coming months. While last month was too early to tell, the figures from April's Rental Index seems to bear this out. A monthly 0.7% rise is certainly evidence of that.
Fair enough if rents do flatten; after all they are a product of the wider economy and with tenant incomes falling in real terms, there is no way rents can continue to rise indefinitely.
We're still concerned that tenant demand may be flattening also. In Norwich we're moving into the peak time of year for tenant demand so it could well be way too early to call. At the moment, our weekly lettings figures are pretty consistent, its just that each of our available properties are taking a little longer to let than they did say this time last year and more viewings are needed before they are being applied for.
Best make sure when you need new tenants for your property, they are comprehensively referenced and credit checked. Taking rent guarantee insurance is a good call too. (You won't be surprised to know that where we provide either fully managed or rent collection services, we will pay to put this in place for you for the initial fixed term of each new tenancy).
We'll keep you posted.