Worry about the future of the property market has boosted demand for homes to rent – and the money that can be charged for them, the RICS says. The Times, Daily Telegraph

But not all properties are equal. Demand is continuing to grow strongly for houses, while the oversupply of new-build properties is depressing the rent increases being achieved for flats.

The latest RICS lettings survey shows that 20% more members reported a rise, rather than a fall, in new lettings in the third quarter of this year, down from 28.5% in the buoyant second quarter of this year.

Demand remains healthiest for family homes. It was stronger, with 25.2% more surveyors reporting an increase in demand (albeit down from 39.2% in the three months to July). Only 16.9 per cent more members reported that demand for flats was higher, compared with 36.9 per cent just three months ago.

The proportion of landlords opting to sell properties when tenants move out has risen from 6.1pc to 6.5pc in the past quarter, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

With the level now at the highest since January 2005, experts said it was a sign that higher house prices and falling rental yields were making it difficult for landlords to turn in a profit.

It will also re-ignite concerns over the housing market. Many experts have warned the buy-to-let sector could be the weakest point in Britain’s property market, with some comparing it to the sub-prime sector in the US.