The rate of rent increases continues to rise year-on-year, according to the latest Private Rented Sector Report from ARLA Propertymark (the Association of Residential Letting Agents), which covers September.
Annually, the number of tenants experiencing rent increases continued to rise in September. Almost a third (31%) of renters saw their rent prices increase last month, compared to 27% in September 2017 and 24% in the same month of 2016.
Looking at shorter-term trends, however, this figure is down. In August this year, ARLA Propertymark letting agents reported a record high for the number of tenants seeing rent increases (40%).
Demand for rental properties from prospective tenants fell marginally in September, with the number of home hunters registered per ARLA Propertymark member branch falling to an average of 63, compared to 64 in August.
Year-on-year, a 20% decline was recorded in tenant demand, as 79 prospective tenants were registered per letting agent branch in September last year.
As landlords continue to leave the buy-to-let market, the supply of properties that letting agents managed in September fell to 194 on average, from 197 in the previous month.
David Cox, the Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark, comments on the report: “Although the number of landlords increasing rents for tenants dropped in September, this figure is still alarmingly high, and it continues to rise year-on-year.
“Increasing costs and continued regulatory change is pushing buy-to-let investors out of the market, and deterring new ones from entering. An average of four landlords took their properties off the market per branch in September – up from three this time last year – and, as supply falls, competition among tenants increases, which is driving up rent costs.”
He adds: “With the Autumn Budget approaching [today], we hope the Government recognises the importance of increasing supply for tenants and uses it as an opportunity to make the market more attractive for buy-to-let investors.”