Rental supply reaches 18 month high

The Association of Residential Lettings Agencies said the number of properties available per member branch was 183 in August and had fallen as low as 171 earlier in the year.

Rental supply reached an 18 month high in September – with letting agents managing 193 properties per branch, the Association of Residential Letting Agents’ private rental sector report has found.

The number of properties per branch was 183 in August and had fallen as low as 171 earlier in the year.

However demand also rose, with 40 prospective tenants registering interest per letting agent branch, up from 37 in August.

David Cox, managing director of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, said: “This month’s findings paint a really positive picture for renters.

“Although demand is rising, we’ve seen this happen gradually over the course of the year, and would expect it to slow again in line with seasonal trends over the next few months.

“On the other hand, the supply of rental stock has risen astronomically, which suggest it’s not quite right that landlords are pulling out of the market as a result of Brexit.

“This is supported in our findings, which reveal the number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties hasn’t changed since April, when three landlords were selling up per branch.”

The percentage of agents witnessing rent hikes was 24% in September, down from 27% in August and 32% in March.

Cox added: “It’s good to see fewer landlords hiking rents this month, but 24% is still too high.

“The cost of renting is already high in many parts of the country and until the government converts its pledges and promises into bricks and mortar, we won’t see renters reach a position where they’re able to save.”