Why December is the best month to rent a new home

By Lee Boyce

Last updated at 1:03 PM on 19th December 2011

December slowdown: The festive period sees rental prices drop as landlords look to fill empty properties

December slowdown: The festive period sees rental prices drop as landlords look to fill empty properties

December is the optimum time for renters to find a new property according to research, as the festive period creates a market slowdown which pushes down prices.

Findaproperty.com’s monthly property review found rental prices fell 1.5 per cent last month and are expected to fall again this month before rebounding in the New Year.

Rental prices reached record highs earlier in the year, peaking at £890 per month for an average property in September - equivalent to half the average household’s net earnings per month.

However, the festive period creates a small window of opportunity for those looking to find rented accommodation and wanting to secure favourable prices.

The drop in rent is caused by landlords looking to avoid vacant properties over the Christmas period and tenant activity slowing down in the run-up to the New Year.

Monthly rents dipped in November for the fourth consecutive year according to the property website, bringing the average asking price per month down to £871.

However, since 2008, rental prices have experienced a temporary lull in the final two months of the year, before rebounding to new highs in the spring.

 

Rental asking prices rose consecutively for the first nine months of this year. And Findaproperty.com forecasts rents to rise again in 2012 in line with seasonal trends, making December the optimum time for new tenants.

Regionally, the East Midlands saw the biggest fall in prices last month according to the data, with the average price of a rental property falling -4.8 per cent.

Properties in Wales proved the most resilient in November, with prices rising 1.3 per cent.

Rental prices: They have dipped in the last couple of months, while availability has increased

Rental prices: They have dipped in the last couple of months, while availability has increased

First-time buyers need an average deposit of almost £50k

Rental property prices have boomed this year, as more potential first-time buyers struggle with mortgage availability and the difficulties of cobbling together a deposit.

Findaproperty found that asking price for first-time buyer properties fell by 0.4 per cent in November and now average £152,989 - £528 less than in October and the sixth consecutive monthly decline.

But despite this, affordability for first-time buyers deteriorated last month as a result of a lower income multiple offered by mortgage lenders.

The average first-time buyer in November needed to find an average deposit of £49,492 - £710 more than in October.

Samantha Baden, property analyst at Findaproperty.com, says: 'Demand for rental properties has boosted prices this year, forcing many households to spend significant proportions of their income on accommodation.

'This temporary dip in asking prices won’t last long, and it’s a great opportunity for potential tenants to agree a rate that’s favourable in comparison to the rest of the year.'

 

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Hardly any difference whatsoever!!

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