Over third of UK letting agents report rent rises

Over a third of letting agents in the UK saw rent increases last month, the highest recorded this year, while a third saw an increased in short term let enquiries.

Indeed, more and more agents are witnessing increases in the cost of renting, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) monthly private rented sector monthly report.

Some 36% of agents said that rents had increased between May and June, the highest number since tracking began and 80% predict that private rents will continue to soar over the next five years.

ARLA pointed out that member’s views could be the result of the measures introduced to reduce the amount of tax relief buy to let investors can claim in the Chancellor’s Mini Budget last month.
 
The report also found the highest number of agents reporting rent increases was in the East Midlands where 48% said that rents had increased in June, compared to only 17% in Wales.
 
Supply and demand shifted marginally in June, with an average of 178 properties managed per branch, compared to 179 in May. There was an average of 36 prospective tenants registered per ARLA branch in June, the same as the previous three months.

The report also revealed that worryingly, supply in London continued to drop with only 118 rental properties managed in June, compared to 134 in May, a decrease of 12%.
 
As the summer holidays begin, interest in short term lets has risen further, with 33% of agents reporting an increase in enquiries for short term lets in June. This has risen by 7% from the previous month when 26% reported an increase in enquiries. Agents in the North West have witnessed the largest increase in enquires for short term lets, with 43% reporting a rise in June.
 
‘It is worrying to see so many agents reporting an increase in the cost of rent over the last six months, especially considering so many people rent as a way to bridge the gap whilst they save to get onto the property ladder,’ said David Cox, managing director of ARLA.
 
‘Findings like this continue to prove that the housing crisis isn’t going to disappear anytime soon and it will take a while before we see steps heading in the right direction. The impact of the Chancellor’s reductions to the amount of tax relief buy to let investors can claim will affect the cost of renting over the coming months and is likely to mean it will take even longer to see any improvement in affordability in the private rented sector,’ he added.