Many private landlords are confident that demand for tenancy agreements will be higher or consistent with current levels in a year's time.

Research by Paragon Mortgages, in its latest quarterly trends survey of the private rented sector, showed that 41 per cent expect current levels of demand to be unchanged in 12 months' time.

But four out of ten private landlords expected demand to increase and 33.5 per cent of respondents said they think it is already growing.

It comes after a report by lettings agent Your Move showed that rental demand in December was 63 per cent up on the same month in 2007.

The Paragon study also showed that void periods - now at an average of 2.75 weeks a year - are continuing to fall amid the greater availability of tenants.

John Heron, managing director at the mortgage lender, commented that landlords are taking advantage of the current climate by acquiring new property.

"They are spotting bargains in local markets and are purchasing with a long-term view,"he said.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19010351-ADNFCR

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