A third of letting agents reported that rents rose in April and many think they will continue increasing over the next five years, recent research has found.
The latest monthly private rental sector report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) revealed that in the North West, 46% of landlords experienced rent growth.
Across the whole of the UK, nine in ten agents said they were pleased with the general election result and 79% expect rents to increase in the next five years, as Labour’s rent cap plans are no longer a threat.
The report also indicates that in April, the amount of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties has risen, especially in London.
ARLA agents in the capital witnessed the number of landlords selling their rental properties double between March and April, increasing from three to six homes on average per branch.
Agents in Scotland reported an increase from four to seven buy-to-let properties going onto the market in the same period and the national average has risen from three to four.
ARLA Managing Director, David Cox, comments: “It is interesting that we have seen an increase in the amount of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties in the last month, which is likely to have been a result of political uncertainty.
“We know that Labour’s plans were unpopular for many landlords and agents, so this increase in those selling their buy-to-let properties may have been a knee jerk reaction to the possibility of Labour’s proposals coming into practise.”
Following the election outcome, 90% of ARLA agents were happy with a majority Conservative Government and 95% think this will benefit the private rental sector.
Of those agents, 13% said it is positive because the Conservatives will interfere less with the industry and 11% believe it will provide certainty and stability in the market.
Supply and demand was similar in April to the previous month. On average, ARLA member branches managed 193 properties compared to 192 in March. In April, ARLA agents dealt with 36 prospective tenants per branch, unchanged from March.
Cox continues: “It is going to be interesting to see what happens in the market in the next few months following the election result and whether we see an increase in supply of rented accommodation as a result of the Conservative’s promise to build 200,000 new starter homes offered at 20% discount to first time buyers.
“This policy will help first time buyers make that leap onto the housing ladder and as a result, this will hopefully free up rental property.
“Hopefully, now the country is under less political uncertainty, we will begin to see the market pick up again and with the policies on offer in both the rental sector and housing market, we should see the overall market heading into the right direction.”1