Private sector rents in the UK reached a record high for August

Rents in the UK’s private rented sector have reached a record high for the month of August with 40% of tenants seeing an increase, the latest monthly report shows.

This was up from 31% seeing a rise in rents in July, according to the data from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), the highest figure since records began in January 2015.

The figures also show that year on year this has increased from 35% in August 2017 and 27% up from August 2016.

The ARLA report also reveals that demand from prospective tenants fell significantly, with the number of house hunters registered per member branch dropping by 19% month on month.

Overall, year on year, demand is down 11% with 72 prospective tenants registered per letting agent branch in August 2017.

Meanwhile, the supply of available properties rose to 197 in August, from 184 last month, the highest figure seen since December 2017, when supply stood at 200. Year on year, this figure is up 4% from 189 in August 2017.

‘As we’ve highlighted before, the impact of recent and ongoing tax changes continues to have a material impact on the buy to let market. Four in 10 tenants saw their rents rise in August, the highest level we’ve seen since records began,’ said David Cox, ARLA chief executive.

‘Although it’s encouraging to see the number of properties available to rent rising, supply still isn’t anywhere near high enough to slow down the pace of rent rises. We need more homes to rent, and for Government to change its narrative and recognise the very valid role buy to let plays in the housing mix. Driving small landlords out of the market ultimately impacts tenants most,’ he added.