July Rise in Rents Leads to New Record High

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The latest rise in rents in July has led to a new record high in private sector rental prices, according to the latest data from ARLA Propertymark.

The number of tenants experiencing a rise in rents increased to the highest figure on record in July, with two thirds (63 per cent) of agents witnessing landlords increasing them. This is a 15 per cent increase from June which was a previous record high.   

The ARLA Propertymark July Private Rented Sector (PRS) Report also showed that year-on-year, the number of tenants facing a rise in rents is up from 31 per cent in July 2018.

The rise in rents was not helped by a decrease in the number of properties available in the private rental sector. Letting agents had an average of 184 properties under management per member branch in July, a decrease from 199 in June.

Tenant demand also increased in July, with the number of prospective tenants registered on average per branch rising to 733, compared to 70 in June. Though this is actually down from an average of 79 per branch on a year-on-year basis compared to July 2018.

The number of buy to let property investors g to leave the private rental sector has remained constant, both on a monthly and annual basis, at an average of four per branch.

ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, David Cox, noted the rise in rents, and said: ‘Following the Tenant Fees Act coming into force in June, rents have continued to rise, which we believed would happen. The fees agents have been banned from charging are still being paid for by tenants, however it’s now through their rent, rather than upfront costs.’

He continued: ‘The fall in the number of properties available further increases competition in the market, which only pushes rents up or forces landlords to exit the market entirely. As the sector faces increased levels of legislation, it’s evident this is putting even more pressure on the industry.’