UK rents have fallen for the third consecutive quarter, the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) claims.
The decline – based on the DPS’s own database of rentals – showed that average monthly rents in the third quarter were £761, down from £764 in the second quarter of 2018.
This has been dubbed as a recession by the DPS.
If this trend continues, it will be only the second time there has been a full year of quarterly decreases since the DPS records began in 2007.
The DPS data also shows that average UK rent has now decreased £14 or 1.83% since the same period last year.
The east midlands experienced the greatest decrease down 2.47% on a quarterly basis to £569, while Northern Ireland had the largest increase, up 2.68% from £542 to £557 over the two quarters.
Meanwhile, average rents in the north-east of England remain the lowest in the UK at £529 per month.
Julian Foster, managing director at the DPS, said: “A third consecutive quarter of declining UK rents signals that there will be no immediate bounce back from the recession that hit the market last quarter.
“This negative period forms part of a slowdown that began in the summer of 2016, which we believe is linked to broader economic factors that are affecting spending power and demand.
“Another quarter of lower rents would mean the first full year of negative growth since the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, a significant threshold for the market.”
However, the DPS’s findings are at total odds with data from Your Move.
The agent said rents were up 2.3% annually in September to £861, led by a 4.3% boost in the south-west of England to £686 per month.
London was the only region with an annual drop, with rents down 1.3% to £1,271 per month, still making it the most expensive region.
Rents were pretty flat on a monthly basis, however, up just 0.06% across the UK.