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UK Private Rented Sector Report for March

Number of Landlords Exiting the Market on the Rise

  • Last month, agents reported a rise in the number of landlords selling up
  • A quarter saw rents increase
  • The number of tenants negotiating rent reductions also rose
  • Demand from tenants rose marginally in March while supply of available properties remained the same

Landlords selling their buy-to-let

  • In March, agents reported a rise in the number of landlords selling their buy-to-let (BTL) properties, with an average of four selling up per branch, compared to three in February
  • The last time the number of landlords selling their BTL rose above three per branch was in November last year, when the letting agent fees ban was announced.

Rent prices

  • The number of tenants negotiating rent reductions rose month on month in March
  • In February, 2.2 per cent of agents witnessed successful rent reductions, whereas in March, 3.6 per cent reported this happening
  • On the other hand, a quarter (25 per cent) of letting agents saw landlords increasing rents in March – a figure which has not changed since January
  • Year on year, this is down by seven percentage points. In March 2016 almost a third (32 per cent) of agents were seeing rent increases.

Supply of rental stock

  • The number of properties managed per member branch remained the same as the previous month, with agents managing 183 on average
  • Last March this figure stood at 169, meaning the supply of rental stock has increased by eight per cent over the last 12 months.

Demand from tenants

  • In March, ARLA Propertymark members had 36 prospective tenants registered per branch, an increase from 34 in February.

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, said: “It’s concerning that, despite supply increasing over last year, stock failed to return to the market after dipping in February. When we also consider that this is coupled with a rise in the number of landlords selling their BTL properties, this is bad news for those searching for a rental property. The introduction of mortgage interest relief means the market is becoming less and less attractive to investors and it appears some landlords are, as we predicted, choosing to exit the market rather than pay the higher taxes. What’s more, two thirds (66 per cent) of our members are concerned the Government will introduce even more landlord taxes in 2017, which will only further dampen supply. Following the announcement of the ban on letting agent fees, we expect the situation to only get worse for tenants when inevitably the costs are passed onto tenants through higher rents. However, it’s positive that more tenants are taking action and negotiating rent reductions before the consultation ends and they see their rents increase.”

 

View Our Reports Archive

If you would like to take at our older reports to see how the market has changed over the years please read more ...

Before 2015 we completed quarterly surveys of member firms and residential landlords. To access this click the buttons below.