Propertymark has issued the government with a stark warning - without incentives to landlords, the private rental sector will shrink, rents will rise further and the housing crisis deteriorate as winter approaches.
In its mid-year report, Propertymark says more letting agents are reporting month-on-month rent increases, with an average of 76 per cent across the first half of 2022 compared to 57 per cent in 2021; 37 per cent in 2019.
The number of new prospective tenants registering per member branch continues to increase significantly from 68 in the first half of 2019, to 85 in 2021, and now sits at 98 in 2022.
Some 80 per cent of agents have reported that the number of landlords leaving had increased over the past three years.
Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, comments: “Over the past six months, we’ve seen significant shifts in trends that professionals in the sector had been accustomed to.
“Mortgages including buy-to-let, which are on short term, fixed contracts, have been at historically low interest rate levels for years but are now rising sharply. Property owners seeing increases to their monthly repayments are having to raise rents. This is leaving many renters in difficulty due to affordability at a time where other costs are also rising.
“Despite inflation and interest rate rises, the sales market has so far continued to remain buoyant during turbulent times with homes under offer extremely quickly. However, with a continued rise in the number of buyers, stock levels need to increase.
“Since 2015, government figures have shown the private rented sector has been slowly shrinking and latest data from Propertymark members suggests that this is nothing to do with demand from tenants tailing off, but instead is caused by the lack of incentives keeping landlords in the sector.
“As we move into the second half of the year, we hope to see slight increases in the levels of stock but without government intervention, these will barely scratch the surface of what is needed, as population growth continues to outpace house building rates.”