Three in ten (32%) ARLA letting agents reported that rents increased in April, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) monthly Private Rental Sector (PRS) report for April.
The report found that tenants living in the North West were the most affected by monthly rent increases in April – with 46% of landlords reporting an increase in the region. With Labour’s rent cap proposals thrown out, eight in 10 (79%) ARLA agents have predicted that rents will increase over the next five years.
In the past month, the number of landlords selling their buy to let properties has increased, particularly in London.
ARLA agents in the capital saw the number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties double between March and April – rising from three to six properties on average per branch. Scottish agents saw an increase from four to seven buy to let properties going up for sale in the last month, whilst the national average increased from three to four buy-to-let properties up for sale on average per branch.
ARLA managing director David Cox, said: “It is interesting that we have seen an increase in the amount of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties in the last month, which is likely to have been a result of political uncertainty. We know that Labour’s plans within the PRS were unpopular for many landlords and agents, so this increase in those selling their buy-to-let properties may have been a knee jerk reaction to the possibility of Labour’s proposals coming in to practice.”
Following the General Election result earlier this month, nine in 10 (90%) ARLA letting agents were happy with the outcome of a majority Conservative government – with almost all agents (95%) believing the result is good news for the private rented sector. More than one in 10 (13%) of those agents said it was good news because the Conservatives will interfere less with the industry and a tenth (11%) believe the result will provide certainty and stability to the market.
“It is going to be interesting to see what happens in the market in the next few months following the election result and whether we see an increase in supply of rented accommodation as a result of the Conservative’s promise to build 200,000 new starter homes offered at 20% discount to first time buyers,” said Cox, “This policy will help first time buyers make that leap onto the housing ladder and as a result this will hopefully free up rental property.”