David Cox: Letting agents think rent prices will rise next year

Michael Lloyd

December 12, 2018

Two thirds (65%) of letting agents think rent prices will rise next year, up from 59% last year, looking ahead to 2019, David Cox, chief executive at ARLA Propertymark has predicted.

More than half (53%) thought demand will continue to rise, but over three quarters (78%) thought the number of landlords operating in the private rented sector will decline next year, as they are driven out by rising costs. In line with this, 67% expected landlords’ taxes to rise again.

Cox said: “The PRS has undergone a tsunami of change over the last few years, and there are difficult times ahead with the tenant fees ban is expected to come into effect next year.

“With all the new legislation landlords have faced over the last few years, they have found themselves either being pushed out of the market or forced to pass rising costs on to tenants – a trend which we’ll continue to see next year.

“However, looking further ahead we firmly believe that the industry will come out stronger, more professional and better respected at the other side. The best landlords and agents will adapt and survive to the new circumstances, keeping the PRS afloat.”

Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark said that almost half (43%) of estate agents expected house prices to fall next year, as 39% think supply will increase and 35% think demand will drop.

This is driven by uncertainty over Brexit, with almost half (46%) of agents agreeing that a no-deal Brexit will have a negative impact on the housing market.

As homeowners put off plans to move in light of Brexit, almost two thirds (62%) of estate agents thought the trend of renovating rather than moving will continue in the New Year.

Hayward added: “As we look ahead to 2019, there’s a fog of uncertainty. Brexit is undoubtedly fuelling a sense of apprehension in the housing market, which in turn affects sentiment.

“With details of the final deal still unknown, both buyers and sellers will continue to hold off on making any decisions. However, this slowdown presents a window of opportunity for first-time buyers who will find more affordable properties, granting them greater bargaining power.

“We usually see demand spike in the first few months of the year, but the landscape will probably be very different in 2019 as buyers sit on the fence and adopt a ‘wait and see’ strategy until the Brexit deal is complete.”

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