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by administrator @, Monday, January 23, 2012, 10:41

More rental homes coming onto the market and falling rental asking prices at the end of last year will be welcome news for those planning to find a new home to rent in 2012, according to the latest rental index from

The number of available rental properties rose to its highest point since August 2009, triggering a 3.3% decrease in asking prices - which fell from an average £890 per month to £861, ending a year of otherwise dramatic rental price inflation.

The increase in available rental stock, along with falling rental prices, will provide much-needed respite for renters in 2012 after a challenging year where asking prices hit record highs in September. Prices could fall further in 2012 if stock levels continue to rise.

On a regional level, London remains the most expensive place to be a tenant, with rental prices increasing 0.5% in a month to an average asking price of £2,086. It is cheapest to rent in Yorkshire and the Humber, where the average rent is just £558 a month.

Outside London, Wales and the West Midlands are the only regions to show an increase in rental prices in the last quarter of 2011, up 1.8% and 0.9% respectively on the quarter, with all other areas showing rent falls compared to the third quarter of 2011. The corresponding rental asking prices for these regions were £639 and £674 per month.

The North West and South East recorded the most dramatic fall in rent asking prices, dropping 7.5% and 7.1% respectively. The corresponding rental asking prices for these regions were £593 and £1,080 per month.

Samantha Baden, property analyst at, said: "Up until Q4, 2011 had seen both rental stock and asking prices steadily rise, so these new figures will be music to the ears of prospective renters. Whether your New Year's resolution is to find a new rental property - or to start renting - there couldn't be a better time to start looking.

"Not only has the average rent fallen to £861, but rental stocks are at their highest since August 2009. This should give more power to renters, which will ultimately result in more freedom, greater choice and a better deal."

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