Letting Agents report a levelling out of rental prices in the Private Rental Sector

22/05/2012

Latest data from ARLA shows that in the first quarter of this year, 50% of its letting agent members reported an increased achievable rent levels, in line with news of rising rents across the UK. However, the percentage of members reporting this has fallen from 60% nine months ago, indicating that a downward trend is being established.

During the same period, the average void period rose for the second successive quarter, to an average three weeks. ARLA members also reported a decline in the number of new tenancies being signed, a factor which, although not unusual for this time of year, may also indicate decreasing demand from tenants, or be a reflection of their inability to afford the rents being charged.

ARLA suggests that the amount being charged for rent is beginning to stabilise in some parts of the UK. This could be due to a number of factors, especially for example, the effect of tenants staying longer in their property.

Letting Agents also report a decline in the number of properties coming onto the rental market because they can't be sold, suggesting that the initial boom in 'reluctant landlords' joining the PRS is coming to an end.

Our View: There is still a huge demand for rental property; however the huge buoyancy of the last few years has slowed down a little. Essentially there remains a shortage of quality housing across the UK, and until something drastic is done about that, huge demands will remain within the private rented sector.

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