Is this the 'Calm before the buy-to-let storm'?

Is this the 'Calm before the buy-to-let storm'?

According to a new report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents, a seasonal lull kicked in as the supply of available rental properties dropped, alongside falling demand.

ARLA agents registered an average of 29 prospective new tenants last month, down from 34 in November – a decrease of 15 per cent. Supply also decreased marginally in December, with an average of 182 properties managed per branch, down from 189 in November. Those looking for rental properties in the capital continue to struggle, with an average of just 108 properties managed per branch, 43 per cent less than the national average.

Cost of renting

Alongside supply and demand, the number of tenants seeing rent hikes also dropped in December, with only two in ten (18 per cent) ARLA letting agents reporting a growth in rent – a drop of five percentage points from November and the lowest reported in 2015.

David Cox, managing director, Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) says: “As we’d expect in December, the UK saw a lull in activity, with people putting off any moves until January. The supply of housing stock was down, and fewer tenants were on the hunt for new properties. It’s reassuring to see the number of agents reporting rent increases is still on the decline – some encouraging news for tenants as we start 2016.”


Buy-to-let market changes

The stamp duty reforms to buy-to-let properties announced in the Autumn Statement are causing concern amongst ARLA letting agents. Two in three (62 per cent) agents predict the changes from April will push up rent costs, and a further two thirds (65 per cent) predict the new reforms will push landlords out of the market after April, and decrease supply.

However, the announcement is having an immediate effect on landlords, as a quarter (24 per cent) of agents have seen uplift in interest from buyers looking to invest in BTL properties before the new changes come into play in April.

David Cox continues: “With supply, demand and the number of agents reporting rent increases all declining in December, this could well be the calm before the buy-to-let storm. Buy-to-let landlords determined to complete purchases before the changes come into force in April are storming the UK housing market, meaning the lull we’d usually see is less significant. But subsequently, after April, we’re very likely to see the number of buy-to-let properties on the market begin to decrease, and this will most certainly have a detrimental effect on renters across the country.”

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Latest Comments

MBM Homelets
MBM Homelets 23 Mar 2017

Although this is a very positive step, there is little or no guarantee of the standard of workmanship employed by the tenants. We have had experience of a professionally decorated property being ' painted'...

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ajay
ajay 21 Mar 2017

How is the "robust evidence" looking now?

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NathanG
NathanG 20 Mar 2017

I've been watching the series so far and am completely baffled by the cases that were presented. Though, I don't think that we can protect ourselves from every scam possible - it will just make the scammers...

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Landlady14
Landlady14 01 Mar 2017

You would think so Niraj Shah! My experience only proves that there are varying qualitiers of professional in all aspects of property letting. None of the ones I have dealt with, from letting agents to...

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Mark
Mark 01 Mar 2017

Thanks for this article. Hopefully one day everybody's lifestyle will be eco-sustainable.

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Ben Taylor
Ben Taylor 28 Feb 2017

I was convinced that London was the most expensive!

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Alan Read
Alan Read 28 Feb 2017

Australia are leading the way in this I think. The trouble with Britain is we don't get enough sun to make use of solar power.

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James Powell
James Powell 27 Feb 2017

This is a very good news.

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DanHumphreys
DanHumphreys 27 Feb 2017

It sounds like a good idea. Anything to help the younger generation get a foothold.

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Matt
Matt 20 Feb 2017

Is this fake news?

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Matthew Hollywood
Matthew Hollywood 07 Feb 2017

Matthew Hollywood - Director Mishon Mackay Land & New Homes - Brighton The shortage of New Homes is in part effected by the lack of land sales. Land sales are held back because there is a disparity between...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 30 Jan 2017

Hi Graham, Would be interesting to see the above figure calculated against an investment via a Lt Company /SPV structure and if the investor found themselves pushed in to the higher tax bracket. Mortgage...

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