Supply of homes available to rent increased by 3% in March, latest sector data shows

The supply of properties available to rent from letting agents increased by 3% in March month on month in the UK private rented sector, the latest data report shows.

The research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) reveals that the number of properties managed per letting agent branch went up from 197 in February to 203, the highest since records began in 2015.

The data also shows that year on year the number was up by 13% from 179 per lettings member branch in March 2018.

Demand from prospective tenants also increased, with the number of tenants seeking a home to rent registered per branch rising to 67 on average, compared to 65 in February.

The number of tenants experiencing rent rises fell marginally in March, with 30% of agents witnessing landlords increasing them, compared to 34% in February but up from the 23% recorded in March 2018.

The monthly ARLA report found that in March the number of landlords exiting the market remained at four per branch. But this is up from three last year.

‘Whilst its really positive that the number of properties available per branch hit a record high last month, this may be the first signs of the industry consolidating ahead of the tenant fees ban as agents either sell-up or merge,’ said David Cox, ARLA chief executive,.

‘This, coupled with landlords exiting the market and rent costs continuing to rise, means the overall picture is far from positive for renters. The full effects of the tenant fees ban have not yet been felt, and now the Government is introducing yet more new legislation which will deter new landlords from entering the market, such as abolishing Section 21,’ he pointed out.

‘Until we have greater clarity on the changes planned, this news will only increase pressure on the sector and discourage new landlords from investing, meaning rents will only continue to rise for tenants,’ he added.

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