Rents beginning to level out as void periods rise
Tuesday 1st May 2012
Rents are showing signs of levelling out, according to letting agents, with void periods rising and fewer new tenancies.
Latest data from the Association of Residential Letting Agents shows that in the first quarter of this year, 50% of its members reported increased achievable rent levels, in line with news of rising rents across the UK. However, the proportion of ARLA members reporting this has fallen from 60% nine months ago.
Over the same timeframe, 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.
ARLA says that while this is not unusual for this time of year, and may also simply be because tenants are staying longer in properties, it could indicate decreasing demand, or be a reflection of tenants’ inability to afford the rents being charged.
Tim Hyatt, ARLA president, said: “Our data suggests that things could be changing in the private rented sector as 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, including an increase in haggling, forcing rent levels down.
“Our members also report a decline in the number of properties coming on to the rental market because they can’t be sold, suggesting that the initial boom in ‘reluctant landlords’ is coming to an end.
“However, we know anecdotally that this is by no means a consistent picture across the UK, as there is still a huge demand for rental property in some parts of the country.
“Ultimately, the key challenge of under-supply has not been solved and there is still a need to provide the right housing, in the right places, across the wider housing market.”
ARLA based its report on responses from 726 member offices plus research among 1,505 landlords.
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