Number of rental properties available for new tenants in UK falls

Taylor Scott International News

The number of rental properties available for tenants in the UK decreased in May at a time when demand is increasing and is predicted to keep rising over the next five years. Supply of rental property fell by 7% compared with April with just 179 properties per branch of lettings agents who are members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), the organisation’s latest monthly report shows. The report says it is a worry that London, known for its booming rental culture, has the least amount of rental properties per branch, with only 134 managed in May, compared to 273 properties per branch in Scotland. Whilst overall available rental properties decreased, demand remained the same. ARLA members reported 36 potential tenants registered per branch in May, remaining the same as the previous two months. The report also shows that during May 34% of ARLA agents reported rent increases for tenants. This figure has been slowly creeping up from the start of the year, when just 27% of agents reported hikes for tenants. Those living in the South West were the most affected by monthly rent increases with 49% of agents in the region reporting an increase. The situation is set to get worse with 76% of ARLA member agents nationally predicting that rents will continue to rise over the next five years. ‘It is worrying to see that there such a sharp decrease in supply, when we know there is already a struggle to meet housing needs,’ said David Cox, ARLA managing director. He pointed out that while the months following any major event such as the General Election will always cause uncertainty and shake things up for the property market, the dwindling supply and already high demand is an issue that’s going to continue to plague the property market. ‘We are in desperate need of more housing stock in this country and supply and demand isn’t something that will level out overnight. It’s vital that the new government follows their promise of building more houses, so we can free up rental properties and head on the right path to turning the property market around once and for all,’ he added. Taylor Scott International

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