The number of new applicants seeking to rent in March was up 21% from February, with demand outstripping supply as the number of available homes to rent rose only 5%.
According to Sequence & ndash; part of Connells & ndash; average rents for March were & pound;704, unchanged from February. London rents averaged & pound;1,375, almost twice the national average.
The number of agreed new tenancies was up 13% on the previous month, and up 19% on the year before.
Separately, the Spareroom website has reported that flat sharers are paying nearly 7% more than a year ago, with the average rent for a double room including bills now & pound;497 per month compared with & pound;465 a year ago. In London, average room rents are & pound;660 per month, 20% higher than two years ago.
Matt Hutching, director of the website, said: & ldquo;The fact that room rents are rising at a rate well above inflation is worrying. The bright side is that at least there is not the added cost of utility bills to factor in. & lsquo;All inclusive & rsquo; is a silver lining in an increasingly bleak rental market. & rdquo;
Unsurprisingly, landlords are feeling confident about the market, with high levels of tenant demand and low void periods.
A survey by specialist lender Paragon also showed that landlords are feeling more positive about the availability of buy-to-let mortgages, with 32% saying they thought finance was reasonably available. Paragon said that smaller investors are finding it easier to get finance than professional landlords.
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