Agents see New Year rent hike
The East of England, which includes Bedford, Cambridge and Norwich, saw over a third (35%) of landlords increase rents in the New Year, while at the other end of the spectrum just one in 10 (11%) saw an increase in Wales.
David Cox, managing director of ARLA, said: “With house prices still high, along with stricter lending criteria for mortgages, the rental market is currently a much more accessible and affordable option to buying.
“Due to this, the demand for rental property is increasing, which impacts the cost of renting; people are willing to pay more to secure their desired property.
“If house prices continue to rise in 2015, we expect this trend to continue in the rental sector.”
ARLA said it takes five viewings for properties to be taken off the market on average, although it only takes three in the South East.
Compared to the sales market there is more supply in the rental market, as the average number of managed rental properties per ARLA branch was 184 in January.
The highest number was in the East Midlands with 266 per branch, while the lowest was in London with 140 per branch.
Cox added: “London has the highest demand for rental property on average per branch, yet supply in the area is the lowest out of any UK region.
“Many Londoners simply cannot afford to buy and therefore look to the private rented sector instead.
“This means available property is highly sought after, and it highlights the issue of supply and demand; particularly in the capital but also throughout the UK.”