The supply of properties available to rent rose to 203 per member branch in March, from 197 in February, the highest since records began in 2015, ARLA Propertymark’s March Private Rented Sector has found.
Year-on-year, supply is up 13%, compared to 179 per branch in March 2018.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark chief executive, said: “Whilst its really positive that the number of properties available per branch hit a record high last month, this may be the first signs of the industry consolidating ahead of the tenant fees ban as agents either sell-up or merge.
“This, coupled with landlords exiting the market and rent costs continuing to rise, means the overall picture is far from positive for renters.
“The full effects of the tenant fees ban have not yet been felt, and now thegovernment is introducing yet more new legislation which will deter new landlords from entering the market, such as abolishing Section 21.
“Until we have greater clarity on the changes planned, this news will only increase pressure on the sector and discourage new landlords from investing, meaning rents will only continue to rise for tenants.”
Demand from prospective tenants also increased, with the number of house hunters registered per branch rising to 67 on average, compared to 65 in February.
The number of tenants experiencing rent rises fell marginally in March, with 30% of agents witnessing landlords increasing them, compared to 34% in February.