Rental housing supply rose to an 18-month high in September, according to the latest study by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
Rental housing supply
In September, letting agents managed an average of 193 properties per branch, up from 183 in August and the highest level recorded since April 2015, when there were also 193 rental properties registered per branch.
Rental Housing Supply Rises to 18-Month High
Rental housing supply had dropped to lows of 171 so far this year. Therefore, the jump in September paints a positive picture for tenants, amid industry-wide expectations of post-Brexit uncertainty.
Demand for rental property
Demand for rental property also grew in September, with 40 prospective tenants registered per letting agent branch, compared with 37 in the previous month.
In line with expectations, demand for rental property has been steadily increasing since the start of the year and is now at the highest level since February 2015, when there were also 40 hopeful tenants registered per branch.
Rent price growth
The amount of letting agents recording rent price growth is at the lowest level so far this year, with just 24% of agents reporting increases for tenants.
This is down by 3% on August, when 27% of agents saw rent rises, and 8% down on this year’s high of 32% in March.
The Managing Director of ARLA, David Cox, comments on the figures: “This month’s findings paint a really positive picture for renters. Although demand is rising, we’ve seen this happen gradually over the course of the year, and would expect it to slow again in line with seasonal trends over the next few months.
“On the other hand, the supply of rental stock has risen astronomically, which suggests it’s not quite right that landlords are pulling out of the market as a result of Brexit. This is supported in our findings, which reveal the number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties hasn’t changed since April, when three landlords were selling up per branch.”
He continues: “It’s good to see less landlords hiking rents this month, but 24% is still too high. The cost of renting is already high in many parts of the country, and until the Government converts its pledges and promises into bricks and mortar, we won’t see renters reach a position where they’re able to save to get on the housing ladder. It will be interesting to see how this is tackled in the upcoming Autumn Statement.”
Tenants may be disappointed to learn that the Government’s Help to Buy scheme will be scrapped in December this year.
However, the new Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, has spoken out in support of the private rental sector, pledging to make renting more affordable and stable for the nation’s tenants.