The rental sector seems to have rebounded from a two-year low recorded in December, with tenant and property registrations on the up, according to ARLA Propertymark.
The trade body’s Private Rented Sector Report for January shows that there was an average of 34 prospective tenants registered per member branch last month, up from a two-year low of 26 in December and up by 10% annually.
The number of rental properties managed per letting agent branch rose to 193 in January from 188 in December. In January 2016, 173 were managed per branch.
Almost a quarter (23%) of the 144 letting agents who took part in the study saw tenants experiencing rent price hikes in January.
Your Move has also reported price rises in the rental sector for the month of January, albeit minimal.
The average rent in England and Wales increased by just 1% in the year to the end of January, to stand at £798. Rent price growth was highest in the East of England (6.9%) and Wales (6.5%).
However, rents in the South West dropped by 1.6%.
The Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark, David Cox, comments on the rental sector report: “When supply and demand are out of kilter, as they have been for so long now, the market isn’t balanced and fair for tenants, and rent prices will just continue to rise.
“Worse still, should the Government decide to implement an outright ban on letting agent fees when the consultation takes place, the situation will likely get worse for tenants.”
He explains: “The costs of the vital services letting agent fees cover will need to be recouped, and this will get passed onto renters in inflated rental prices. This, combined with new landlords’ tax, particularly the upcoming changes to mortgage interest relief, means the rental market is far from reaching equilibrium.”
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