The average number of days to rent a home across England, Wales and Scotland was 20 during the first seven months of this year, according to Hamptons International, a residential real estate and property services company in London. This 20-day time period to rent, three days quicker to rent than last year at this time, is the quickest time to rent since Hamptons International began tracking the rental market in 2012.

“Lower (rental housing) stock levels combined with increasing demand from new applicants has meant that properties have let quicker than ever before,” said Aneisha Beveridge, head of research with Hamptons International.

Buy-to-let homes moved even faster in England’s South West and East Midlands districts.

According to Mansion Global’s Liz Lucking, high rates of taxation including gradually disappearing tax relief, is raising red flags with landlords and investors from making new buy-to-let purchases in the United Kingdom. Some of those landlords and investors are leaving the rental sector altogether due to these taxation issues thus decreasing rental inventory.

2017 dealt UK landlords and investors a double blow. First came the +3% increase to Stamp Duty taxes on buy-to let purchases that was introduced in 2016. And then came the April 2017 phasing out of mortgage interest deduction on buy-to-let properties. That deduction has been lowered 25% each year since 2017 and is to be completely eliminated next year.

Every region across the UK recorded a decrease in the time it took to let a property with London coming in with the largest year-on-year decrease at 19 days, six days faster than the first seven months of 2018.

This wide gap in supply and demand in London made it even more difficult for landlords and investors since London has much higher purchasing costs than in other areas of England. Buy-to-let homes in England’s South West and East Midlands districts took an average of only 18 days to be rented, the fastest to rent of all districts.

Thanks to Liz Lucking of Mansion Global for source data.