According to Rightmove’s rental trends tracker, the national average asking rent per month is 1.5 per cent up on the previous quarter and up 9.4 per cent on the previous year.
However, the company said that the pace of rent growth has started to slow, easing for the third quarter in a row.
The report continued that average asking rents in London have surpassed £2,500 for the first time, reaching another record level.
The average asking rent in London is £2,501, which is up 0.9 per cent on the previous quarter and up 14 per cent on the previous year.
Rightmove said that the speed of rent rises in the capital could also be slowing as the quarter’s rise of 0.9 per cent is the smallest in two years.
Supply still ‘constrained’ but some signs of improvement
Rightmove said that supply “remains very constrained” but is showing “slow signs of improvement” this year.
It pointed to the number of available properties being six per cent higher than the near-record low levels last year, and across the opening three months of 2023, the number of available rental properties was up by eight per cent.
However, the company said that supply was still “historically very low” and is 46 per cent below 2019 levels.
The gap between supply and demand has improved slightly but there is still a “significant imbalance” as tenants’ enquiries outweigh number of homes.
Rightmove said that competition between tenants had eased by two per cent compared to last year but was more than double 2019 levels.
The number of tenants enquiring is four per cent higher than this time last year and 48 per cent higher than in 2019.
‘Still very competitive for tenants’
Rightmove’s director of property science Tim Bannister said: “We have seen some early signs of improvement on squeezed supply levels this year, though with no significant influx of new properties becoming available to rent currently on the horizon, the mismatch is set to continue for some time.
“Many agents are having to manage a very high volume of tenant enquiries for every property that they let in the current market. Properties in popular areas within an affordable asking rent range of that local area are likely to be snapped up almost immediately, and on average homes are finding a tenant much more quickly than this time in 2019.
“Although there are some early signs that the gap between supply and demand is starting to narrow a little, it will still feel very competitive for tenants trying to secure a home.”