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Graham Awards


No widespread sell-off by landlords despite attacks on buy to let

New figures show that there is no widespread sell-off by landlords, despite the tax and regulation changes of recent years.

Data from the Association of Residential Letting Agents, a trade body, shows that its members reported in March there was an average of just four landlords per agency branch indicating they wanted to sell.

This was exactly the same figure as in March 2019 and March 2018 - there was no comparable figure for last year, as this was during the Coronavirus market lockdown.


Mark Hayward, ARLA’s chief policy advisor, says: “It’s great to see that the rental market is continuing to boom as demand for rental properties rises. Of course, as demand rises and the number of properties decreases, rent prices will inflate, but we’d encourage agents to continue to support landlords and their tenants throughout the ongoing Covid-19 difficulties where possible and ultimately it is positive to see rent flowing and incomes returning for many people.”

Other market snapshot data from ARLA, all related to March, shows that the average number of new prospective tenants registered per letting agency branch continued to rise to 84, from February’s figure of 82. This is the third month in a row where the number of new prospective tenants has increased.

Regionally, the West Midlands had the highest number of new tenants registered per branch with an average of 157. However, this number was lowest in Scotland where there was only an average of 31 new prospective tenants registered in March.

The number of tenants experiencing rent increases jumped in March as three in five agents saw landlords increasing rent compared to 49 per cent in February. This figure is up from 30 per cent in March 2019.



The number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions fell to 1.7 per cent in March, falling from 2.0 per cent a month earlier.

The number of properties managed per letting agent branch fell from 195 in February to 193 in March. Regionally, the West Midlands had the highest number of properties managed per letting agent branch with a figure of 260.

However, rental stock was the lowest in London with an average of 128 properties managed per branch.

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    Many landlords that I know wish to sell but are ensnared in a negative equity trap.


    Then I'm sorry but more the fool them for borrowing way too much.

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    This just can’t be true. Since 2016 the PRS has shrunk from just over 20% of the housing stock to 18.7%, or just 16% in the South East. To say it is going up, or even holding steady, is factually incorrect.


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