The chief executive of ARLA Propertymark has made an outspoken attack on the UK government, accusing it of a “blatant disregard for the private rental sector.”
Nathan Emerson made his comments in response to the latest Office of National Statistics data on private rented housing.
He says: “The UK government has a blatant disregard for the importance of the private rented sector, continues to hit landlords in the pockets and provides no incentives for those providing good quality homes to remain in the sector. Given that the cost of living crisis is having a detrimental impact on many households, they must urgently prioritise introducing further investment in both the private rented and social sectors.”
Emerson believes greater supply across all tenures will ultimately reduce rents and improve affordability.
“Agents are reporting a record high number of applicants registered in our latest Private Rented Sector Report which is a 73 per cent increase from the previous year” he continues.
“Some 74 per cent of agents are reporting rent rises due to the lack of private rented housing supply and in some cases, properties are receiving in excess of 20 per cent more in rent per calendar month.
“This is a real concern for households across England and Wales and the latest ONS Private Housing Rental Prices Index reiterates our growing concerns over the affordability.”
The ONS figures, released at the start of the Easter holiday weekend, show that private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 2.4 per cent in the 12 months to the end of March, up from 2.3 per cent in the 12 months to the end of February 2022.
Broken down by the British nations, private rental prices grew by 2.2 per cent in England, 1.6 per cent in Wales and 2.8 per cent in Scotland in the 12 months to the end of March.
The East Midlands saw the highest annual growth in private rental prices (3.8 per cent) while London saw the lowest (0.4 per cent).