January sees a spike in demand for rental accommodation

January saw a spike in demand for rental accommodation, ARLA Propertymark’s January Private Rented Sector (PRS) report has shown.

There were 34 prospective tenants registered per member branch which is up 31% from December.

David Cox, chief executive at ARLA Propertymark, said: “As expected, the new year brought with it a flurry of activity in the rental market.

“However 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 out-right ban on letting agent fees when the consultation takes place, the situation will likely get worse for tenants.”

Demand for rental accommodation has risen by 10% over 12 months, though the supply of rental stock has also increased by 12% with 193 properties managed per branch.

Almost a quarter (23%) of agents saw tenants experience rent hikes in January which is down year-on-year from 30% reported in January 2016.

Cox added: “The costs of the vital services letting agent fees cover will need to be recouped, and this will get passed on to renters in inflated rental prices.

“This, combined with new landlords’ tax, particularly the upcoming changes to mortgage interest release, means the rental market is far from reaching equilibrium.”

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