According to ARLA research out today, during Q2 2011 three quarters (74%) of members reported that there were more prospective tenants than properties available – a figure that jumps to 82% in central London.
By comparison, just two years ago the number of members reporting an undersupply of rental homes in the UK was 10%, and 8% in central London.
Ian Potter, operations manager of ARLA, said: “As many parties are reporting, there is a clear shortage of homes to buy in the UK. Faced with this, many people are turning to rental homes as a more flexible option than buying; yet as our research highlights that the dearth of properties is just as real in the private rented sector (PRS), and is showing no signs of improvement.
“To work towards a solution, Government needs to look seriously at ways of incentivising investment into the PRS to increase the number of properties available for rent. At the same time, it needs to look at ways of regulating what is becoming an increasingly popular housing option, so that consumers and landlords are protected from issues such as loss of rent monies and deposits as well as defaults on mortgage and rental payments.”
The ARLA member survey covering Q2 2011 also revealed a slight increase in buying and selling activity among landlords – 16% of agents believe landlords are buying properties, up from just 9.3% a year ago. Some 14% believe landlords are selling properties, compared with 25% a year ago.