Supply of Rental Properties in London Drops by a Third While Rest of Market Plateaus - April 2017

  • Supply of properties available in London fell by a third in April, while only rising marginally on average across the UK
  • A quarter of agents saw rent increases for tenants
  • The number of tenants negotiating rent reductions decreased

Supply of rental stock

  • Last month, the number of properties managed per member branch increased marginally, with agents managing 185 on average, up from 183 in March
  • However, in the capital, the number of properties managed per member branch fell by a third (32 per cent) from 148 in March to 101 in April.

Rent prices

  • The number of tenants negotiating rent reductions fell last month – 2.8 per cent of agents witnessed tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions, whereas, in March, 3.6 per cent reported this happening
  • Furthermore, a quarter (24 per cent) of letting agents saw landlords increasing rents in April – a drop of one percentage point from March.

Landlords selling their buy-to-let

  • In April, the number landlords selling their buy-to-let (BTL) properties remained the same, with an average of four selling per branch. In March, the number of landlords selling up rose from three to four for the first time since November 2016, when the letting agent fees ban was announced.

Average tenure

  • In April, tenants stayed in their rental accommodation for an average of 17 months, a decrease from 18 months in March. This is the first time since June 2016 the average length of a tenancy has dropped to a figure this low.

Demand from tenants

  • In April, ARLA Propertymark members had 65 prospective tenants registered per branch.

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, said: “Although the rental market in London has seen a large drop in the supply of properties available to rent, it’s a different picture in the rest of the UK where we have seen little or no change to activity since March. It’s likely we’re seeing the rest of the rental market outside of the Capital plateau as a result of the election in June, with renters potentially holding back on their property searches until after 8th June. It’s important that housing is at the top of the new Government’s agenda, as we have had two elections and a referendum in the last three years which is stalling the policy process meaning that we do not have the right houses available to provide the homes people need.”