Falling rents 'a small positive' for tenants on Southern railway route

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Growth in rental prices has slowed or dipped in some areas where commuters have been affected by the Southern railway strikes, an index has found.

In Surrey, which contains stations such as Guildford and Dorking, rents started to fall in the second half of 2016, according to the report from property investing website Landbay.

Rents increased in Surrey by 0.12% there across the first half of last year, but fell by 0.02% across the second half of 2016.

In East Sussex, rental growth slowed from 0.26% in the first half of the year to 0.15% in the second half, while West Sussex saw a slowdown from 0.24% in the first half of the year to 0.19% in the second half.

Rents also slowed in Kent, from 0.27% to 0.19% over the same period. The town of Milton Keynes also saw a cooldown in rental growth, from 0.34% in the first half of 2016 to 0.17% in the second half.

Average rents across the whole of South East of England grew by 0.21% over the six months from January to June 2016, but slowed to 0.13% in July to December, according to the index.

John Goodall, chief executive and co-founder of Landbay, which recently launched an online tool allowing tenants and landlords to compare their rents with others nearby, said: "Rental prices along the Southern network haven't plummeted just yet, but these figures do suggest that it is beginning to have an impact on local property markets.

"While the strikes may have caused headaches for commuters across the network, the dwindling rents are a small positive for tenants."