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Help to Buy has had a rapid impact on buy-to-let with investors suffering the first fall in advertised rents in years, finally reversing the trend for "over-inflated" returns.

Advertised rents fell in almost every region in the third quarter of 2013 to an average of £965 a month, according to the Move with Us Rental Index, published today.

The exception, inevitably, was London, where rents continue to operate in their own bubble and increased by 55% in the quarter.

Rents have dipped across the country as owning property becomes more affordable with the Help to Buy scheme. This marks the start of the market balancing out as confidence increases in the sales market, stabilising rents across the country. 

Robin King, director of Move with Us, said: “Average advertised rents fell in every region except Greater London and the West Midlands. These reductions tying in with the launch of Help to Buy indicate that the scheme may be starting to impact the rental market.

"Those who would ordinarily rent are opting to buy, putting downward pressure on rental prices as demand reduces. With this in mind, we anticipate further falls in advertised rents in the coming months, as the market starts to stabilise and reverse the over-inflated rental prices that we have seen in the past few years.

“Greater London is the anomaly of the last quarter as the only region to have seen significant rises in average asking rents, further proof that it operates in its own bubble separate to the rest of the UK.

"Rents in the capital have increased by £55 over Q3, the strongest period of prolonged growth for over 12 months.

“With the Help to Buy scheme providing tenants with a real alternative to renting a property, landlords should look to protect their rents and maximise yields by offering well-maintained properties with added benefits, such as a fast WiFi connection as part of their tenancy agreement.

"They should also ensure their properties are energy efficient to help keep bills down and ensure early compliance with 2016 regulation changes.”

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