RLA: Rental supply crisis looms

Ryan Fowler

October 25, 2019

A rental supply crisis could be on the horizon as a survey from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) revealed that more landlords are selling properties than buying at a time when demand continues to surge.

The RLA polled over 2,700 landlords, and found that almost 25% have seen the demand for private rented property increase over the last three months.

Some 41% said there had been no change and just 15% said that demand has fallen.

The growth in demand comes as the supply of private rented housing continues to fall. According to the research over the next 12 months 31% of landlords plan to sell at least one property with just 13% saying they plan to buy at least one.

Over recent years the successive government’s have embarked on a programme designed to cut investment in private rented housing through various tax increases in an attempt to encourage more houses to be available for purchase by owner occupiers.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “Those who argue that a smaller private rented sector is good for tenants wanting to buy a home are plain wrong.

“The government’s policies are choking off the supply of homes to rent whilst demand remains strong.

“This is only making life more difficult and potentially more expensive for those looking for somewhere to live.”

“Without an urgent change of course and the introduction of pro-growth policies the situation will only become worse.”

The figures are supported by recent statistics from other organisations. According to Rightmove, a shortage of private rented housing together with strong demand from tenants has led to record asking rents across most parts of Great Britain.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has warned of an acceleration in rent increases over the next five years as a result of the demand for private rented housing outstripping supply.

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