According to the latest RICS survey residential rents are set to rise next year as the number of properties coming onto the market drops off. The survey also stated that demand for rental property is still rising. Caroline Kavanagh, group lettings director of Townends estate agents, agrees that demand has been strong in recent months but says, “If demand continues to rise then it will give tenants bargaining power which could affect rental prices on a downward curve.”
A lot what happens next year is, of course, dependable on other elements as the current upward trend in the housing market continues to affect the lettings market. Caroline believes that next year’s activity will be very much governed by borrowing ability.
Pricing however continues to dominate discussions and is currently the most talked about subject area. With so many influential factors that could help to stable rents or push an increase or decrease Caroline advises landlords to have a competitive edge when marketing their property.
“Moving into 2010 there will be an element of sensitivity, but landlords need to be receptive to their agent’s feedback on what is required on the property and price. Generally, landlords will need to be realistic on price. Pricing in line with other available stock will be critical to achieving a timely let.
“People absolutely ‘rent a lifestyle’ as they do ‘buy a lifestyle’ and landlords will also need to consider décor as tenants are much more discerning now even in the right location. Presentation will be key in the new year so I would recommend to anyone about to put their property up to let to start thinking about how their property looks in order to capture the right tenant.”