Demand for rental properties in UK down slightly in July but no marked Brexit effect

The number of rental properties on letting agents’ books in the UK is at its highest level this year so far as demand for properties fell marginally in July, according to the latest research.

But the private rental sector market is in positive shape following the decision in June to leave the European Union with the majority of agents reporting no change to rent prices.

The July rental sector report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) shows that there were 184 rental properties on agents’ books, up 5% from the previous month.

However, year on year supply is down as there were 189 properties per agent in July 2015, some 3% higher than July this year.

Demand from prospective tenants for rental accommodation fell slightly, from 37 house hunters per branch in June, to 36 in July.

Following the Brexit vote some 71% of agents witnessed no change in rents and 62% saw no movement in supply while 61% recorded no change in demand.

As in June, last month 38% of letting agents saw no sign of a market wobble following Brexit. Where there is uncertainty though, it comes from those looking to let properties, with 44% of agents reporting signs of uncertainty from landlords
‘Despite reports that the housing market is spiralling out of control post-Brexit, our results paint a very different picture, and indicate that the future is bright for the rental market,’ said David Cox, ARLA managing director.

‘Supply is up, as we’d expect at this time of year, and the number of tenants experiencing rent hikes hasn’t changed in three months. While we obviously need new houses to balance the growing gap between supply and demand, what’s positive is that the situation isn’t worsening as a direct result of June’s Brexit result,’ he added.