Lettings agency Fine & Country believes that tenants will continue to feel the pressure this spring with rental growth expected to remain strong , supported by persistent low stock levels and increasing demand.
Nicky Stevenson, managing director of the agency, says: “The average prime market rent is now £3,762, up 14 per cent year-on-year, with many regions of England and Wales still witnessing positive annual growth. Annual prime rental growth in London is 21 per cent and is still outperforming the rest of the country, driven by a shortage of supply.
“According to Hometrack, private rented housing supply has grown just one per cent since 2016 and is set to remain generally static in 2023, particularly considering the recent interest rate rise and the ignoring of buy-to-let landlords in the Budget. According to a Dataloft poll, properties are still being snapped up, with 63 per cent of agents saying properties are taking less than a week to go from listed to let, and 39 per cent citing stock levels lower than a year ago.”
She adds that despite a slight slowdown from its peak of 12.3 oper cent in mid-2022, rental inflation is still outpacing earnings growth, with no sign of respite.
“Average rents for new lets have increased by 11.1 per cent in the last year, compared to an increase in earnings of just 6.7 per cent. In the last three years, rents have risen by 20 per cent, an extra £2,220 a year, increasing strain on renters.
“Sigma Capital report that in the same period net happiness amongst renters has dropped eight per cent, with [about a third] of renters concerned about security of tenure. These results highlight the need for more comfortable, affordable renting options, particularly in light of the uncertainty amongst renters and the ongoing cost of living crisis.”