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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daniel black
daniel black 25 Oct 2016

I've been keeping a close eye on what the effect of Brexit has been on the rental market and it's a very mixed bag. Whilst the majority of the news focuses on London's market. I think this time next year...

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Northerner 20 Oct 2016

Any views from outside the M25? No wonder politicians can't get the housing big picture when everyone seems to think that London is the yard stick, when it absolutely is not.

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Sean Lees
Sean Lees 13 Oct 2016

I think that the pest control really depends on the situation. If the tenant moved in and found an infestation that needs pest treatment service, I think it's more reasonable that the landlord should pay...

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Kevin 13 Oct 2016

Please Sian Berry Dan Wilson Craw LANDLORDS DO NOT WANT TO RAISE RENTS They are being forced to because of Section 24! An unfair, punitive tax hike that will be a disaster Green Party, Generstion...

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Fletcher88 11 Oct 2016

Absolutely agree! Moreover property prices edged up with 0.7% this month as the market recovered from the initial Brexit hit

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Gary Das
Gary Das 06 Oct 2016

A lot of lenders (especially the high-street banks and lenders people approach first) could do more to accommodate for the self-employed. It can really be a struggle, as I found out myself last year when...

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richardrawlings 04 Oct 2016

Not sure I understand this! If Basildon and Hemel rose 68% and 52% respectively, why do they not appear in the top ten list, which appears only to feature those in the minus 20's!! Is it me?

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luxus 27 Sep 2016

It can be stressful. More clarity is needed on the process, from a customer perspective and consideration should be given to using the Scandinavian model where the sales process is much quicker.

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Melissa_Green 26 Sep 2016

Green belts are normally designated around capitals and other major cities and conurbations and their aim is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open. The essential characteristics of green...

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Jimmy_McCoy 16 Sep 2016

I think that the main reason to buy garden purchases in last minute is because people always search for the best deal. In summer months there are abundance of seasonal goods and it means more low cost

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Jimmy_McCoy 16 Sep 2016

Buying a home often is more expensive than you expect. There are lots of hidden costs such as: stamp duty, surveys and valuations, mortgages etc. that can add more than 10% to the total bill

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Homebuyerconveyancing 15 Sep 2016

We are seeing a massive influx of Homebuyers using online Estate Agents. The winners are the online portals that still aim to manage the customer journey to homeownership. They provide a valuation service,...

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