One in three letting agents report rent increase

Robyn Hall

July 23, 2015

Rents have increased by the highest number since tracking began the Association of Residential Lettings Agents said.

Eight in ten (80%) ARLA agents predict that private rents will continue to soar over the next five years – which could be a result of the measures introduced to reduce the amount of tax relief buy-to-let investors can claim in the Chancellor’s Emergency Budget.

The report found those in the East Midlands suffered the most, with almost half (48%) of agents stating that rents had increased in June, compared to only 17% in Wales.

David Cox, ARLA managing director, said: “It is worrying to see so many agents reporting an increase in the cost of rent over the last six months, especially considering so many people rent as a way to bridge the gap whilst they save to get onto the property ladder.

“Findings like this continue to prove that the housing crisis isn’t going to disappear anytime soon and it will take a while before we see steps heading in the right direction. The impact of the Chancellor’s reductions to the amount of tax relief buy-to-let investors can claim – announced in the Emergency Budget this month – will affect the cost of renting over the coming months and is likely to mean it will take even longer to see any improvement in affordability in the private rented sector.”

Supply and demand

Supply and demand shifted marginally in June, with an average of 178 properties managed per branch, compared to 179 in May. There was an average of 36 prospective tenants registered per ARLA branch in June, the same as the previous three months. The report also revealed that worryingly, supply in London continued to drop with only 118 rental properties managed in June, compared to 134 in May – a decrease of 12%.

Short term lets

As the summer holidays begin, interest in short term lets has risen further, with a third (33%) of agents reporting an increase in enquiries for short term lets in June. This has risen by seven per cent from last month when a quarter (26%) reported an increase in enquiries.

Agents in the North West have witnessed the largest increase in enquires for short term lets, with two fifths (43%) of ARLA member agents reporting a rise in June.

Sign up to our daily email