There was a surge in demand for rental accommodation during January, according to the latest report from ARLA Propertymark.
Data from the investigation shows that there were 34 would-be tenants per ARLA membership branch last month, in comparison to the 26 seen in December. This represented a rise a 31% month-on-month.
Year-on-year, demand has risen by 10%.
In addition, the number of rental properties being managed by letting agents also rose in January. Last month, there were 193 properties managed per branch, as opposed to 188 in December.
What’s more, there has been a 12% year-on-year rise.
23% of agents saw their tenants experiencing rental rises during January. However, this is less than the 30% seen in January 2016.
Demand for rental property surges in January
David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: ‘As expected, the New Year brought with it a flurry of activity in the rental market. While supply of rental stock rose slightly, the number of prospective tenants increased by a much bigger margin. When supply and demand are out of kilter, as they have been for so long now, the market isn’t balanced and fair for tenants and rent prices will just continue to rise.’
‘Worse still, should the Government decide to implement an out-right ban on letting agent fees when the consultation takes place, the situation will likely get worse for tenants. The costs of the vital services letting agent fees cover will need to be recouped, and this will get passed on to renters in inflated rental prices. This, combined with new landlords’ tax, particularly the upcoming changes to mortgage interest release, means the rental market is far from reaching equilibrium,’ Mr Cox added.