Rents to soar 15% as battered landlords pull out

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Rents are expected to surge 15 per cent over the next five years thanks to increasing demand and limited supply following government tax assaults on buy to let investors.

A Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors market snapshot released this morning shows 22 per cent more respondents reporting a fall in new landlord instructions in the last three months.

This is the eighth consecutive quarter the number of rental properties has fallen.

The shortage of supply means rents are projected to increase by almost 2.0 per cent nationally over the next 12 months and by no less than 15 per cent by 2023.

The institution says the surge reflects the changes in the rental sector after small-scale landlords quit thanks to recent tax and regulation changes.

East Anglia and the South West are expected to see the sharpest growth over the period.

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn says: “The impact of recent and ongoing tax changes is clearly having a material impact on the Buy to Let sector as intended.

“The risk, as we have highlighted previously, is that a reduced pipeline of supply will gradually feed through into higher rents in the absence of either a significant uplift in the Build to Rent programme or government funded social housing.

“At the present time, there is little evidence that either is likely to make up the shortfall. This augers ill for those many households for whom owner occupation is either out of reach financially or just not a suitable tenure.”

And Abdul Choudhury, RICS’ policy manager, adds: “Our survey suggests that recent government policy and legislation changes have impeded the growth of the private rented sector, which is a vital part of a functioning homes market.

“Withdrawing tax breaks that small landlords relied on, placing an extra three per cent on second home stamp duty, and failing to stimulate the corporate build to rent market, has understandably impacted supply.”

Choudury adds: “The government must urgently look again at the private rental sector as a whole, including ways to encourage good landlords.”

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Written by: Houseladder