Herefordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire Regional Meetings

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Dawn Bennett

June 2016

Over the past 12 months I’ve noticed an increasing trend within our region. There seems to be a serious lack of supply with not enough rental properties available on the market to deal with the increasing demand of tenants looking for rented accommodation. In our branch, for example, we’re registering, on average, 200 applicants per month and receiving a minimum of two applications per property. Therefore tenants are having to compromise on their requirements in order to secure a property.

So why is this happening? Well, I believe it’s down to three key elements. Firstly, tenants are staying put. The number of tenants moving out of properties has decreased from five per cent per year to three per cent, with the average let now being between 20 months and four years! So it goes without saying that there’s a lot less property available on the market at any one time.

There’s also a wider variety of tenants applying for properties. Young professionals are still looking for properties but more and more families are coming forward looking for two-, three-, or four-bedroom houses to rent. It seems renting property has become more of a lifestyle choice than a need. With less tenants moving out and more and a wider variety of tenants searching for rented property, it’s no wonder that we’re experiencing a shortage of rental properties on the market.

It means that we have to rely on new landlords bringing their properties onto the market to meet the demand of the tenants. But my question is will they? With changes to stamp duty and significant tax changes coming into play, I believe more landlords and investors will be discouraged from buying to let and therefore, as the demand for rented property increases, our supply will ever be diminishing.

Dawn Bennett MARLA
ARLA Propertymark Regional Representative