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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Government urged to act over BTL market as rental supply falls

The government has been urged to 'recognise the importance of increasing supply' for renters now a date for a General Election has been all but set for December 12.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, says an election is an opportunity to make the buy-to-let market 'more attractive for landlords'.

The call from ARLA comes as its monthly survey of over 200 letting agents has revealed a drop in rental supply between August and September.

In September, the average agency branch managed 193 rental properties, down from 197 in August. Year-on-year supply is down from 194 in September 2018, but up from 189 in September 2017.

What's more, the survey found that demand from tenants also dropped, down to an average of 72 prospective renters per branch from 76 in August.

According to agents, the number of landlords exiting the market in September remained steady at an average of four per branch.

Meanwhile, the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act appears to still be having an impact on rents, with 58% of agents witnessing an increase in rent prices during September, a slight dip on the previous month.

The figure is, however, still way above the 31% and 27% of agents recording rent rises in September 2018 and September 2017 respectively.

"While the number of tenants experiencing an increase in rent has dropped marginally, rent prices remain alarmingly high as they have done since the Tenant Fees Act came into effect," says David Cox.

"It’s also concerning to see that the number of properties managed per letting agent branch has fallen. As supply falls, competition amongst tenants increases which further drives up rent costs."

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