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Tenant rental demand in the private rental sector hit an all-time high in January, according to the latest ARLA Propertymark January PRS report.
The report showed that tenant rental demand in January increased to the highest level on record with 88 prospective tenants registered per branch compared to 56 the previous month.
The rise means that agents have witnessed a 57 per cent increase in the number of prospective tenants registered since December.
Year on year, tenant rental demand for private accommodation has increased by a fifth (21 per cent), rising from 73 in January 2019 to 88 last month.
Meanwhile, the number of properties managed per ARLA Propertymark branch fell from 206 in December to 191 in January. Supply has not been this low since July last year when it stood at 184.
Year on year, property supply is down from 197 in January 2019, but up from 184 in January 2018.
With tenant rental demand high, the number of tenants experiencing rent increases also rose in January, with 42 per cent of letting agents witnessing landlords increasing them, compared to 32 per cent in December last year.
Year on year, this figure is up from 26 per cent in January 2019, and 19 per cent in January 2018.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, said: ‘This month’s results are a huge blow for tenants. With tenant rental demand increasing by more than half, but rental supply falling, rent costs are unsurprisingly being pushed up.
‘Our recent research found that tenants could miss out on nearly half a million properties as more landlords exit the traditional private rented sector and turn towards short-term lets which will only serve to worsen the problem for those seeking longer term rental accommodation.
‘With the Spring Budget around the corner, it’s important that the Government works to make the private rented sector attractive to landlords again, rather than introducing complex legislation which ultimately squeezes the sector and leaves tenants worse off.’