Rents in the UK’s private rental sector continue to rise as the supply of properties to let has dropped again on the back of a jump in the number of landlords exiting the buy-to-let market, new figures show.
As we near the end of 2018, ARLA Propertymark has analysed its letting data to reveal trends from the year, and found that the supply of rental accommodation dropped, albeit marginally, from 189 on average per branch in 2017, to 187 per branch in 2018.
In line with this, as landlords continued to face legislative change, the number of buy-to-let investors selling their properties increased from an average of three in 2017 to four in 2018. In April and May this year, the figure spiked to five per branch – the highest since records began in 2015.
With fewer properties available to rent, there was a rise in number of tenants experiencing rent hikes this year, from 25% each month in 2017 to 28% on average this year.
Demand from tenants spiked in July, when agents reported that there were 79 prospective tenants per branch on average, compared to 68 on average across the year.
David Cox, chief executive, ARLA Propertymark, commented: “The number of landlords exiting the rental market is rising, and those who aren’t worried about it yet, should be.
“BTL investors have faced a huge amount of legislative change over the last 18 months alone, and as costs rise, they are being driven out of the market and new ones are being deterred from entering.
“The government is developing a joined-up approach for legislating the private rented sector, but until this has been put into action and the market is made more attractive for landlords, rents will continue to rise, competition will intensify, and tenants will continue to suffer.”