The number of properties being listed to let dropped for the fourth consecutive month in April, and this is placing upward pressure on rental values across many parts of the country, the latest RICS Residential Market Survey has revealed.
The rental market also saw tenant demand increase moderately over the first quarter of the year, although momentum appeared to have faded over the past five months, RICS said.
A lack of housing stock on the market remains a key challenge for the sector with recent and forthcoming tax changes having a material impact on transaction levels, particularly at higher price points, according to RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn.
He said: “It is noticeable in the April report that the amount of new rental instructions coming through to agents is continuing to edge lower which is not altogether surprising given the changing landscape for buy-to-let investors.
“One consequence of this is that rents are expected to continue rising not just in the near term but also further out and at a faster pace than house prices.”
April’s figures also revealed that buyer interest and the volume of property sales, including buy-to-let acquisitions, continued to fall, which suggests that the number of homes being listed to let is unlikely to pick up anytime soon.
“There is a persistent supply and demand issue in the UK’s housing market, and this is creating an increasingly competitive environment,” said Stephen Wasserman, managing director of West One Loans.
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