The Association of Residential Letting Agents says agents should continue to help landlords and tenants during the Coronavirus crisis.
Although the vaccine roll out continues apace, a statement from Mark Hayward, Propertymark’s chief policy advisor, cautions: “It’s great to see that the rental market is continuing to boom as demand for rental properties rises. Of course, as demand rises and the number of properties decreases, rent prices will inflate. But we’d encourage letting agents to continue to support landlords and their tenants throughout the ongoing Covid-19 difficulties where possible and ultimately it is positive to see rent flowing and incomes returning for many people.”
His statement comes after the release of the latest market snapshot by ARLA, with data from agents’ branches relating to March.
ARLA reports that the average number of new prospective tenants registered per letting agency branch continued to rise to 84, from February’s figure of 82. This is the third month in a row where the number of new prospective tenants has increased.
Regionally, the West Midlands had the highest number of new tenants registered per branch with an average of 157. However, this number was lowest in Scotland where there was only an average of 31 new prospective tenants registered in March.
The number of tenants experiencing rent increases jumped in March as three in five agents saw landlords increasing rent compared to 49 per cent in February. This figure is up from 30 per cent in March 2019.
And the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions fell to 1.7 per cent in March, falling from 2.0 per cent a month earlier.
The number of properties managed per letting agent branch fell from 195 in February to 193 in March. Regionally, the West Midlands had the highest number of properties managed per letting agent branch with a figure of 260. However, rental stock was the lowest in London with an average of 128 properties managed per branch.