Where have all the rental properties gone?

Where have all the rental properties gone?

According to new data from the Association of Residential Letting Agents, the supply of rental accommodation is the lowest since records began a year ago, while demand for accommodation rose slightly in January 2015.

After a period of gentle decline, the number of properties registered per letting agent branch dropped by 5% to 172 in January –10 fewer than in December.

Regional winners and losers

Supply in Scotland stands above the national average, with 280 properties available per member branch, while the supply of rental properties in London is 59 per cent less, with only 116 properties per branch. However, the capital has seen a slight increase in the number of properties available over the last month, rising from 108 in December 2015.

Demand for accommodation

Demand for rental accommodation picked up in January following a seasonal lull in December, with an average of 31 prospective tenants now registered per branch. However, it has not returned to the high levels reported in January and February last year, when there were 38 and 40 tenants registered per branch respectively.

In line with growing demand, the number of agents reporting rent hikes for tenants increased in January, with three in ten (30 per cent) reporting an increase in rent – the highest since September 2015.


David Cox, managing director, Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) said: “Supply of housing continues to be a problem and tenants bear the brunt of this with more people competing for properties at higher prices. The majority of tenants find that it is impossible to save very much at the end of the month to put towards buying their own home. Our recent Cost of Renting report2 found that a fifth of those renting in the UK do not expect to ever be able to afford to buy a home, and unless we act soon to build more properties, this number will only get higher.

Upcoming stamp duty changes on additional residential properties

Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of ARLA members think the Chancellor’s stamp duty reforms for buy-to-let (BTL) properties will push landlords out of the market, which will in turn cause supply to drop further – and nearly six in ten (58 per cent) believe the reforms will push up rent costs.

However, nearly half (47 per cent) of ARLA agents reported that they have seen an uplift in interest from buyers looking to invest in BTL properties before the 1st April – a rise from 24 per cent from last month.

David Cox continues: “A few weeks into the new-year and the April deadline for the stamp duty surcharge is looming and interest from buyers looking to invest in buy-to-let properties and beat the deadline is ramping up. The final details of the new tax will be revealed at the Budget in March but we are not expecting to see the Government back down on this policy. The findings from our members echo our concerns that efforts to penalise buy-to-let landlords will ultimately impact those entering and currently in the rental market, as by increasing rents landlords will seek to recoup their costs. Rent costs are already rising exponentially, and tenants are feeling the strain of a crowded marketplace. We just need more houses; it’s as simple as that.”

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Latest Comments

ChristinaReedUK
ChristinaReedUK 20 Jun 2016

I don't understand why it's always a war between the two sides. Either, way the landlord is probably keeping a detailed inventory and will see the changes you've made. I just don't understand why there...

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NathanGreen
NathanGreen 16 Jun 2016

Seeing that the tenants are quite satisfied with their landlords and the properties is indeed great. I wonder, though, what is the situation in London alone? The tenants face sky-high rent levels in the...

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AndiMur
AndiMur 15 Jun 2016

TheGuardian published the same forecast. But on the other hand, professional brokers express different opinions. According totranio.com, an exit from the EU would not affect the demand/supply imbalance...

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Gary Holmes
Gary Holmes 14 Jun 2016

Having a professionally completed inventory at check-in and check-out is clearly (to me at least) of minor value. Tenants make un-authorised modifications and/or walk off with items that belong to the

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Violet Gibson
Violet Gibson 14 Jun 2016

Cautious people think buying off-plan is reckless, but over the past few years investors have literally made fortunes.Pre-release prices have obvious benefits for the developer, who gets instant finance...

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Kate Windleton
Kate Windleton 14 Jun 2016

An interesting research indeed. I guess that is in complete contrast with the United States where people often move from one coast to another. It will be interesting to hear the trends for people moving...

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NathanGreen
NathanGreen 14 Jun 2016

I think it all depends on the market conditions and how well your company is doing. You will agree that you can't demand more when you're killing yourself just to hang in there. Sometimes you need all

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ChristinaReedUK
ChristinaReedUK 13 Jun 2016

What does "detecting a bad vibe" mean actually. I've had certain vibes like these and yet have always found a reason , if there's any, why I don't like a certain property. The property maintenance might...

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keybanks estates
keybanks estates 08 Jun 2016

Great News for first time buyers, about time two!

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NathanGreen
NathanGreen 07 Jun 2016

I agree with #6 - you should maintain your garden according to the target buyer. One thing is universal, though - cleanliness and order. Having the yard clutter-free and clean will help people who do enjoy...

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NathanGreen
NathanGreen 06 Jun 2016

I will always say that London is overrated. Sure it is the capital, but it's too stuffed in there. It's more of a business city to me.

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Paul
Paul 25 May 2016

Estate agents are pathetic when it comes to fees. They have this 'I had to do it at 1% because that's what the others were quoting' mentality. We are the most expensive agents in our area, charging double...

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