The number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties increased during April, according to the latest report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
London agents surveyed by the association saw the number of landlords selling their rental properties double between March and April, rising from three to six properties per branch on average.
During the same period, Scottish agents saw this figure increase from four to seven per branch, while the national average increased from three to four buy-to-let properties up for sale per branch.
ARLA also reports that 32% of letting agents surveyed said that rents increased in April. In light of the Conservatives’ majority government, eight in ten agents surveyed have also predicted that rents will increase over the next five years
The increase in landlords selling up during April is likely to have been a result of political uncertainty, according to David Cox, ARLA’s managing director.
“We know that Labour’s plans within the PRS were unpopular for many landlords and agents, so this increase in those selling their buy-to-let properties may have been a knee jerk reaction to the possibility of Labour’s proposals coming in to practice,” he said.
The full report also shows that supply and demand remained largely the same during April. ARLA member branches managed 193 properties on average, compared to 192 recorded in March.
In April, ARLA agents reported an average of 36 prospective tenants per branch, exactly the same as in the previous month.
“It is going to be interesting to see what happens in the market in the next few months following the election result and whether we see an increase in supply of rented accommodation,” adds Cox.
“Hopefully, now the country is under less political uncertainty, we will begin to see the market pick up again and with the policies on offer in both the rental sector and housing market we should see the overall market heading into the right direction.”