The rental market continues to perform strongly despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, with new data revealing that, during February, the number of new prospective tenants rose for the second month in a row.
According to the latest figures released by ARLA Propertymark, tenant demand remained high during February with the average number of new prospective tenants registered per branch rising to 82 - up from 81 recorded in January.
Year-on-year this remains the same as February 2020 but is a huge leap from the previous February figure of 65 in 2019.
Regionally, The West Midlands had the highest number of new tenants registered per branch with an average of 126, with the East Midlands having the second-highest of 123 new tenants.
Northern Ireland and The Isle of Wight both recorded the lowest number of new prospective tenants, with an average of 26 registered per branch in February.
ARLA revealed that the number of tenants experiencing rent increases jumped in February as 49% of agents saw landlords increasing rent compared to 39% in January. Year-on-year this figure is also up from 40% in February 2020.
The number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions remained the same at two per cent in February. Year-on-year this is the same as during February 2020 when the figure also stood at two per cent.
The number of properties managed per letting agent branch fell for the third month in a row from 196 in January to 195 in February. Regionally, the North East had the highest number of properties managed per letting agent branch with a figure of 284.
However, rental stock was the lowest in London with an average of 94 properties managed per branch.
Landlords selling BTL properties
The number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties remained the same for the fifth month in a row, at four per branch in February. Year-on-year this figure is slightly lower than the February 2020 figure of five.
Mark Hayward, Chief Policy Advisor, Propertymark, said: “This report demonstrates that the rental market continues to show no sign of slowing down, as demand for rental properties rose yet again in February. Letting agents have continued to support landlords and their tenants throughout the ongoing Covid-19 difficulties, and it is essential that tenancies are maintained wherever possible to ensure rent keeps flowing.”