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Demand for rental homes riding high

ARLA’s monthly UK Private Rented Sector Report shows demand from prospective tenants rose in August. Supply dipped marginally but is up year on year and the outlook for rental market remains positive following vote to Brexit.

In August, letting agents had the highest number of applicants registered since June 2016. During the first half of this year, there were signs that demand was cooling off, as each month figures were down year on year from 2015 however over the last three months, demand has been up year on year.

The number of rental properties on letting agents’ books was down marginally from July. Year on year supply was up by three per cent.

The number of tenants negotiating rent reductions rose in August to the highest levels seen since records began at the start of last year. ARLA members reported that three per cent of tenants secured a rent reduction last month, compared to 2.1 per cent in July.

In August just over half of members (51 per cent) reported some signs of uncertainty from either those looking to rent or those looking to let a property following Brexit. However, this has had very little real impact on the rental market; in August the majority of members reported no change in rent prices, supply of available properties, or demand from prospective tenants following Brexit.

David Cox, Managing Director, Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), said: “Although Brexit painted a temporary picture of uncertainty for tenants and landlords, our findings show that the market remains in good shape. We’re not seeing anything across supply or demand that is out of the ordinary, and while demand is at high levels, this is being matched with a decent volume of properties on the rental market. What’s good is that more tenants are managing to successfully negotiate rent reductions, and that agents and landlords seem to be responding well to this. The rising cost of renting, especially in major cities such as London, is an ongoing issue in both the buying and lettings market so it’s promising to see small steps towards better affordability for renters.”

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