Housing shortage drives up rents

A chronic shortage of properties continues to drive rental prices upwards across the country, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

More than a quarter of letting agents saw private rents rise in June despite an increase in the supply of rental stock on the market.

The 31% hike in the number of agents reporting rent hikes in June is the highest level since April 2016, when the figure was also 31%.

Over the past 12 months, the supply of rental stock has risen by 8% with letting agents managing 190 properties on average per branch in June this year, while demand fell slightly, with an average of 61 new tenants registered per branch – down from 65 in April and May.

With landlords facing increasing pressure as a result of the introduction of the 3% stamp duty surcharge last year and the phasing out of tax relief, around 20% of landlords recently said they planned to increase rents.

ARLA’s chief executive, David Cox, said: “With the cost of living on the rise and inflationary pressures tightening, the last thing tenants need is for their rents to continue rising.

“However, the fact that supply looks to be rising, while demand has dropped slightly indicates a move in the right direction for the market. Ultimately, to stop rent prices from increasing too much, we need to find the balance between supply and demand.”

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