Private Rented Sector Report: February 2019

RENTS RISE AS LANDLORDS CONTINUE TO EXIT THE MARKET

Key Findings

  • The number of tenants experiencing rent increases rose to the highest figure since August
  • The number of landlords exiting the market increased
  • Demand from prospective renters fell, while the supply of rental properties remained the same in February

 

Rent prices

  • The number of tenants experiencing rent rises increased in February, with 34 per cent of agents witnessing landlords increasing them, compared to 26 per cent in January
  • This is the highest figure recorded since August, when 40 per cent of tenants had their rents increased, the highest on record
  • Year-on-year, this figure is up 14 percentage points, from 20 per cent in February 2018 [Figure 1]
  • In line with this, the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions fell to 2.3 per cent, from 2.5 per cent in January

Rent Hikes

Figure 1: Average number of tenants experiencing rent hikes year-on-year

Landlords selling their buy-to-let

  • In February, the number of landlords exiting the market rose to four per branch, after falling to three in January
  • This is up from three last February.

Supply of rental stock and demand from tenants 

  • Demand from prospective tenants fell in February, with the number of house-hunters registered per branch falling to 65 on average, compared to 73 in January
  • The number of properties managed per branch remained at 197 in February, with no new properties coming onto the market.

David Cox

David Cox

Chief Executive

“According to data from the Office for National Statistics, private rent costs rose by one per cent in the year to February, and our data shows that the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions fell. We warned this would happen, as landlords continue exiting the market and increasing legislation deters new ones from entering.

"The Chancellor’s Spring Statement included a number of initiatives aimed at growing housing stock for buyers, but it didn’t offer any solutions to increase the supply of properties in the private rented sector. Unless the Government commits to making the prospect of investing in the PRS more attractive, and introduces measures to increase supply, tenants will only continue to feel the burn.”