More tenants seeking housing but rental stock falls

More tenants are seeking housing but supply fell to its lowest level in seven months in January, ARLA Propertymark’s January PRS report has found.

Demand for rental accommodation reached a record high of 88 per member branch last month, up from 56 in December 2019.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “This month’s results are a huge blow for tenants. With demand increasing by more than half, but rental supply falling, rent costs are unsurprisingly being pushed up.

“Our recent research found that tenants could miss out on nearly half a million properties as more landlords exit the traditional private rented sector and turn towards short-term lets which will only serve to worsen the problem for those seeking longer term rental accommodation.

“With the Spring Budget around the corner, it’s important that the government works to make the private rented sector attractive to landlords again, rather than introducing complex legislation which ultimately squeezes the sector and leaves tenants worse off.”

The number of properties managed per branch fell from 206 in December to 191 in January.

Supply has not been this low since July last year, when it stood at 184.