Rents for new tenancies rise as demand ramps up, say letting agents

The rental market continues to show no sign of slowing, as demand for properties increased yet again and landlords raise rents for new tenancies.

ARLA Propertymark’s Private Rented Sector Report reveals that the average number of new prospective tenants registered per branch continued to rise to 82, up from January’s figure of 81 – the same as February 2020 but a big leap from the 65 recorded in 2019.

Regionally, West Midlands branches recorded the highest number of new tenants, with an average of 126, followed by the East Midlands with 123 new tenants. Northern Ireland and The Isle of Wight both recorded the lowest number, with an average of 26.

Healthy demand meant more landlords were able to increase rent, with 49% of agents reporting that they had done this in February compared with 39% in January. Year-on-year this figure is also up from 40% in February 2020. Meanwhile, the number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions remained at 2% – the same as during February 2020.

Management drop

ARLA says the number of properties managed per letting agent branch fell for the third month in a row, from 196 in January to 195 in February.

Branches in the North East had the highest number of properties with 284, while those in London – with an average of 94 properties – had the lowest stock per branch.

Four landlords at each branch sold their buy-to-let properties, the same for the fifth month in a row but slightly lower than the five recorded a year ago. 

Chief policy advisor Mark Hayward (pictured) says: “Letting agents have continued to support landlords and their tenants throughout the ongoing Covid-19 difficulties and it is essential that tenancies are maintained wherever possible to ensure rent keeps flowing.”

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