New rental applicants outside of London are up 33% since the start of 2008, according to figures released by Hamptons International.

According to the agency, while the numbers of new rental properties coming to the market has been in line with last year, greater numbers of tenants choosing to renew their tenancies and a sharp rise in new applicants has exacerbated the need for additional stock.

More than three quarters of Hamptons? tenancies are now extending beyond their initial term and with confidence in the sales market reduced, the demand for rental property is continuing to rise.

In addition, with mortgage interest rates continuing to climb, and landlords? overheads increasing, many short-term property investors are looking to exit the buy-to-let market, providing opportunities for professional investors at more realistic prices.

According to the latest figures from Hamptons International, some of the best yields outside of London can currently be found in Brighton (4.32%), Hove (4.22%) and St Albans (4.02%).

Catherine Manning, Regional Lettings Director, Hamptons International, says: ‘Rental properties are achieving their asking price and, in some cases, we have seen properties go to ?best bids? in hot spot locations. For savvy investors looking to purchase buy-to-let property outside of London, it is worth noting that the strongest yields generally come from smaller units ? such as 1-bed and 2-bed properties. For those looking to acquire new assets, recent statistics demonstrate that the average initial income returns are higher than in recent years.’

Since the start of the year, figures demonstrate an “unmistakable increase” in the number of rental applicants looking to re-locate out of London. March was a particularly busy time for re-location agents, driven by national and international companies re-locating staff to commuter areas.

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