The latest data and analysis from ARLA Propertymark has revealed that the number of tenants experiencing rent increases rose to the highest figure since August – compounded by an increasing number of landlords exiting the market.
ARLA found that 34% of agents witnessed landlords raising their rents during February compared to 26% in January – this is the highest figure recorded since August, when 40% of tenants had their rents increased, the highest on record.
Year-on-year, this figure is up 14%, from 20% in February 2018. In line with this, the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions fell to 2.3%, from 2.5% in January.
In February, the number of landlords exiting the market rose to four per branch, after falling to three in January. This is up from three last February.
Demand from prospective tenants fell in February, with the number of house-hunters registered per branch falling to 65 on average, compared to 73 in January. The number of properties managed per branch remained at 197 in February, with no new properties coming onto the market.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, said: “According to data from the Office for National Statistics, private rent costs rose by one per cent in the year to February, and our data shows that the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions fell. We warned this would happen, as landlords continue exiting the market and increasing legislation deters new ones from entering. The Chancellor’s Spring Statement included a number of initiatives aimed at growing housing stock for buyers, but it didn’t offer any solutions to increase the supply of properties in the private rented sector.
Unless the Government commits to making the prospect of investing in the PRS more attractive, and introduces measures to increase supply, tenants will only continue to feel the burn.”