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

Oliver Conway
Oliver Conway 18 May 2017

Making a neat inventory is a good idea, but if the seller is not willing to provide it, can the buyer demand it?

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Bertrand
Bertrand 17 May 2017

First step to nationalisation of the private rented sector IMHO. Nanny state poking their noses into things yet again. I object, as a decent landlord, sometimes having to deal with some pretty awful tenants,...

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Izzy
Izzy 16 May 2017

This is such a great a post. I love the detail you've gone into. It's a very useful article for helping those who are looking at deciding which sector they would like to go into! When I first started investing...

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paul burnham
paul burnham 30 Apr 2017

Jeremy Corbyn's pledge that a Labour government would build 500,000 new council houses must electrify the general election campaign. Reliance on markets and the profit motive has brought huge housing-related...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 28 Apr 2017

Sadiq Khan?s announcement of an online database of landlords and letting agents who have been convicted of housing offences, appears on face value to be a variation of the already implemented Database

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warren
warren 26 Apr 2017

You're very welcome Mary! Glad you enjoyed them :)

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Mary Ward
Mary Ward 26 Apr 2017

Thank you for the wonderful ideas. First impressions can make or break a deal. It's sadly that many homeowners drop the kerb to create an off-street parking space.

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Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 14 Apr 2017

I'm not at all surprised that so many landlords are still confused about what the tax changes really mean and how it will affect them. In particular, the blind rush to incorporation is leaving landlords...

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MH
MH 13 Apr 2017

You are right that the bank holidays are going to be spoiled in looking for the properties. But people who want to sell their property and looking for the better relocation, they can get benefits of this...

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bnellyb
bnellyb 08 Apr 2017

There will be an exodus of private landlords over the next 5 years as tax changes take effect, private landlords provide an important service to the rental market, why do housing associations and councils...

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Fred Cassman
Fred Cassman 07 Apr 2017

"Make it look like you are at home": often people forget this and share on facebook their location!

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jared townsend
jared townsend 05 Apr 2017

It'll be interesting to see how & if the Government's asset sale regarding mortgages helps

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