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LONDON (Reuters) - London rents, which are amongst the highest in the world, have fallen this year for the first time since 2010 as landlords rushed into the rental market before a tax increase in April, a report published on Friday showed.
Landbay, a property market lender, said private rents in London edged down by 0.3 percent between January and November 2016. That compared with a 1.9 percent rise in rents across the rest of Britain over the same period.
Landbay chief executive John Goodall said he expected London rents to rise in 2017 when tighter controls on bank lending to landlords was likely to slow the number of rental homes coming on to the market. But he expected growth in London rents to remain below the average for Britain as a whole.
Average rents in London peaked at 1,894 pounds ($2,374) per month in April before beginning to edge down in May, a month after the introduction of a higher a tax on landlords buying property to rent, Landbay said.
Rents rose in many suburbs but fell in central areas such as the borough of Kensington and Chelsea where they dropped by 2.3 percent.
London residential property has attracted many foreign investors and has shown little sign of falling in value since the country voted to leave the European Union in June.
In 2014, real estate firm Savills estimated that 32 percent of high-end residential property in London was overseas owned.
London had the sixth most expensive average rent, and the most expensive in Europe, when compared with 14 other global in a report by not-for-profit organization Global Cities Business Alliance and the Centre for Economic and Business Research.
($1 = 0.7978 pounds)
Writing by Camilla Hodgson; Editing by William Schomberg