Lettings News,Property News

Report finds increasing rent prices are due to shrinking private rented sector

Em Morley - June 8, 2022

Propertymark has found that rent prices are increasing due to landlords selling up and reducing the available rental stock.

The key findings of its report ‘A shrinking private rented sector?’ state that 53% of buy-to-let properties sold in March 2022 left the private rented sector (PRS).

It also states 84% of respondents reported a decrease in new investors in the PRS over the past three years.

An overall 49% reduction in available rental properties per branch was recorded in March 2022, compared to March 2019.

Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, states within the report: “Our research presents a worrying picture for private renters. The number of properties available to rent has been diminishing with a large portion of landlords choosing to sell their properties. A lack of property is the root cause for rent increases and rising figures on social housing lists.

“We know from our qualitative research that the most common reasons for landlords to choose to sell their properties and no longer provide homes are around risk, finances and viability.

“Landlords and letting agents have been the subject of extreme legislation changes as the UK Government tries to improve the sector. However, without a middle ground, these changes are actually proving detrimental to those they are supposed to protect. Sadly we do not see this improving as the sector braces itself for more changes within the anticipated Renter’s Reform Bill and upcoming energy efficiency targets.”

In response to the report, Dan Wilson Craw, Deputy Director of campaign group Generation Rent, comments: “Rents are rising and would-be tenants face bidding wars or demands for multiple months’ rent up-front.

“That is a result of large numbers of people moving back to cities since summer 2021 as universities and offices reopened, putting a strain on homes coming to market. We’re seeing similar rent inflation in the US and Australia.

“When landlords sell up, their properties don’t disappear. They continue to be lived in, either by tenants of the new owner, or by an owner-occupier whose old home is now available for a private renter to buy. Supply and demand stay the same so rents are unaffected.

“Reforms to the rental market are necessary to give private tenants better quality, longer term homes. The government has said that landlords will be able to evict in order to sell or move in – though we believe these grounds should come with protections against abuse. If some landlords are unhappy with that, they won’t be missed.

“Government plans aside, rents are too expensive, so we need to build more of every tenure in the places people want to live, to make sure everyone can afford a home.”