Private Rented Sector Report: November 2019

Rents plummet to lowest in eight months

Key findings:

  • The number of agents witnessing rents increase fell in November to 32 per cent
  • Demand from prospective tenants also fell with lettings agents registering an average of 67 prospective tenants per branch
  • The number of properties managed per letting agent branch increased marginally to 203

Rent prices

  • The number of tenants experiencing rent rises fell by 18 percentage points in November with 32 per cent of lettings agents witnessing landlords increasing them compared to 50 per cent in October.
  • This is the lowest figure since March when the number stood at 30 per cent.
  • However, year-on-year this figure is up from 21 per cent in November 2018, and 16 per cent in November 2017 (see figure 1 in report).

Demand from tenants

  • Demand from prospective tenants fell in November with 67 registered prospective tenants per member branch, down from 72 last month.
  • Demand from prospective tenants has now fallen for the third consecutive month.

Supply of rental stock

  • Last month, the number of properties managed per branch rose marginally to 203 from 201.
  • Year-on-year supply is also up from 183 in November 2018 and 192 in November 2017.

Quote mark

'It’s good news for tenants that rents have fallen this month. However, demand for properties has also dropped. The ongoing uncertainties of Brexit and the General Election have caused people to hold off on their property search until some political clarity is reached, which has led to this fall in demand.

'Now that the election has brought some political stability, tenants will likely be looking for properties again and the new Government must recognise the importance of making the market attractive for both tenants and landlords. They must be very careful about reforming Section 21 which could cause supply to plummet, and if it is to be abolished, Section 8 must be reformed first and a new specialist Housing tribunal created. Without this, supply will almost certainly fall which will have the consequential effect of raising rents.

'Further, the Government should seek to reassure tenants by implementing the recommendations set out by the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) working group; something we have long called for. These are substantial changes, but it’s important that the Government ensures everyone in the industry is qualified and adheres to a strict code of practice'.

David Cox

David Cox
ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive