March and April this year saw a peak in landlords selling their properties, according to new data from ARLA Propertymark.
ARLA’s overview of the private rental sector followed several factors affecting the buy to let market throughout 2017. The firm’s research reported a 33 per cent spike in the number of landlords selling their properties in comparison to the previous year.
Supply of rental properties was found to be highest during January, standing at 193 properties available per branch. In 2016, this number stood at a yearly average of 180, in comparison to the 188 from January-October 2017.
August was a month of rent hikes for tenants, with 35 per cent of landlords upping the rent during this month. Tenants’ rental prices were least likely to increase in October, with just 22 per cent of landlords raising rents. In 2017, 27 per cent of tenants saw their rents rise in comparison to the 26 per cent in 2016.
In contrast, tenants were most successful at negotiating rent reductions in March, at 3.6 per cent. In 2016, it was during December that tenants had the most negotiation success, with 3.1 per cent bartering a lower price.
Finally, competition in the market appeared to wane slightly in 2017 in comparison to the previous year. In 2016, letting agents generally hosted just five viewings per property, a figure which rose to six in 2017.
Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark, David Cox, commented: ‘It was always going to be an interesting year, following the announcement of the letting agent fee ban in last November’s Autumn Statement. I think we’re starting to see a consolidation of some agencies in the industry as the fee ban looms, which could explain why the number of properties under management has increased. Landlords are becoming more selective about their property investments in light of last year’s Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) changes. Mortgage Interest Relief (MIR) is starting to bite which is why we saw an increased number of landlords selling up. It’s likely that as we move into 2018, tenants will continue to see rent increases as supply starts to reduce, demand continues apace, and legislative changes increase costs for landlords.’