The Association of Residential Letting Agents says there is a record number of homes available to renters - but this does not represent good news for tenants.
In its latest market snapshot ARLA says an average 203 homes are to let per member branch, up from 197 a month ago and the highest since the association’s records began in 2015.
“Whilst it’s really positive that the number of properties available per branch hit a record high, this may be the first signs of the industry consolidating ahead of the tenant fees ban as agents either sell-up or merge. This, coupled with landlords exiting the market and rent costs continuing to rise, means the overall picture is far from positive for renters” cautions David Cox, managing director of ARLA.
Year-on-year, supply is up 13 per cent, compared to 179 per branch in March 2018, while demand from prospective tenants also increased rising to 67 per branch on average.
The number of tenants experiencing rent rises fell marginally in March, with 30 per cent of agents witnessing landlords increasing them, compared to 34 per cent in February.
Year-on-year, this figure is up 30 per cent, from 23 per cent in March 2018.
The number of landlords exiting the market is typically four per branch, up from three this time last year.
David Cox continues: “The full effects of the tenant fees ban have not yet been felt, and now the Government is introducing yet more new legislation which will deter new landlords from entering the market, such as abolishing Section 21. Until we have greater clarity on the changes planned, this news will only increase pressure on the sector and discourage new landlords from investing, meaning rents will only continue to rise for tenants.”