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

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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