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Rent prices to rise while rental stock falls, predict NAEA and ARLA

NAEA Propertymark and ARLA Propertmark have shared their forecasts for the rental and buying market in 2018, with rental prices set to rise in the 12 months ahead.

According to 59% of ARLA Propertymark letting agents, rent prices will increase next year, while 19% believe they will decrease. Some 62% predict the supply of rental stock will fall in 2018, while 53% think demand will rise. Meanwhile, seven in 10 letting agents expect private rented taxes to rise further in 2018.

“2017 was a big year for the lettings industry, and tenants felt the effects of this,” David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, commented.

“Unfortunately, it looks like rising rent costs are going to continue into the New Year as agents need to be moving into a 0% fee business model by October, which will push rents up as the costs are passed through landlords and onto tenants.”

Cox believes the regulations making their way through Parliament next year will have a positive effect on the rental market, including the prospect of housing courts and longer-term tenancies.”

He said: “While these policies will be developed rather than implemented, they should start to affect the market as agents adapt their business in anticipation.”

“Overall, the industry is going through a seismic change and the lettings market we know today will be radically altered over the next five years,” warns Cox. “This change will be painful for agents, but we firmly believe that the industry will come out of the other end stronger, more professional and with a robust reputation among consumers.”

By contrast, 43% of NAEA Propertymark’s estate agents predict that house prices will fall next year. The majority (44%) expect supply to remain the same in 2018, while 29% think it will decrease. Some 32% think demand will decrease in line with this, but almost half (46%) expect it to remain the same.

Meanwhile, a third (34%) expect incidences of gazumping to decrease in the New Year, while the trend of renovating rather than moving is expected to continue as 60% think more homeowners will do this.

improve the house-buying process and stamp duty relief for first-time buyers coming into effect, it’s been a big year for the housing market.

“However,” he continued, “looking ahead to next year, more than half of our members don’t think the first-time buyer tax relief will have a real impact on the number of sales being made to the group.

Hayward added: “Agents expect supply to remain the same but demand to grow which sounds like bad news, but if we can improve the process of buying a property, we’ll be making vast improvements to the sector which will ultimately make it easier and provide more certainty for first-time buyers.”

The trade body also has high hopes as well as predictions. “Our members want to see stamp duty relief rolled out nationally to all buyers, and hold out hope that housing stock will increase,” said Hayward.

“This will be a case of ‘wait and see’ – the Government has made many such promises in the past which we’ve never seen translated into reality.”

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