Demand for rental property has hit its highest level so far this year, but supply has failed to keep up, letting agents report.
ARLA Propertymark’s July Private Rented Sector Report – based on responses from 191 members – shows that the number of new prospective tenants registered per branch increased from 71 in June to 79 in July, the highest level so far this year.
It matches the previous high reached last September.
However, the supply of available properties moved in the opposite direction to demand, falling from 191 in June to 184 last month.
There are also reports of fewer tenants experiencing rent increases, with the proportion of tenants seeing hikes falling from 35% to 31% between June and July.
David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “Buy-to-let investors are being pushed out of the market by increasing costs and continued regulatory change, and new landlords are being deterred from entering.
“Last month, an average of four landlords took their properties off the market per branch, up from three this time last year – and as supply falls, competition among tenants increases, which pushes up rent costs.
“Almost a third saw their rents rise last month, and although this figure was down from June, it’s still far too high. To put tenants back in the driving seat, we need more homes available to rent, and the only way this will be achieved is if the Government makes the market more attractive for buy-to-let investors.”