New data from letting agents suggests that there’s been a substantial rise in the number of landlords selling buy to let units.
The Association of Residential Letting Agent’s latest market snapshot - which relates to September - says that ARLA-member agents have reported an average of five landlord clients selling units that month.
This has risen from the average of four which was the monthly norm for well over two years: the new average of five is the highest recorded by ARLA.
Meanwhile the rest of the ARLA report shows that far from landlords being uncaring during the pandemic, many appear to be resisting putting up rents as the crisis continues.
Some 40 per cent of agents witnessed landlords increasing rent in September compared to 48 per cent in August.
This is 18 per cent lower than in September last year when the figure stood at 58 per cent.
The number of new prospective tenants also fell for the first time in September since the housing market reopened after the spring lockdown in May.
The average letting agent branch registered 82 new tenants in September, a decrease from 101 in August.
The number of new tenants per branch in September is the lowest since February this year, when there were also 82 tenants registered ahead of the market temporarily closing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
And the number of rental properties available per letting agent branch fell from 208 in August to 193 in September. Year-on-year this is the same figure as in September 2019.
“Our latest figures show agents are continuing to support landlords and tenants during the ongoing pandemic with rent increases down by almost a fifth year on year and renters staying in their tenancies for longer” explains ARLA president Angela Davey.
“As we head towards winter and further uncertainty due to increasing lock down measures, it is vital that tenancies are maintained. To this end, with the furlough scheme finishing in October, Westminster must follow the Scottish and Welsh authorities in providing a package of support to tenants to keep the rent flowing” she adds.
“This is absolutely vital in keeping people with Covid-related arrears in their homes and ensuring that landlords continue to have funds to make mortgage payments.”