The demise of the ‘reluctant landlord’?

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has reported a fall in the number rental properties being put on the market because they cannot be sold.

The ‘reluctant landlord’ has been a key symptom of the housing market downturn, as homeowners desperate to sell their property turned to the rental market to pay their mortgages.

ARLA’s research shows that 80% of its members’ offices have seen property being rented out rather than sold. This figure has dropped from a high of 95% of offices in November 2008 when consumer confidence and house prices dipped.

The markets for London and the South East are showing particular signs for optimism with 72.5 and 78% of offices citing a decrease in reluctant landlords – both down from highs of 92% last year.

The number of family houses being rented out has decreased from 72.5% in November of last year to only 66%, but rentals for flats and studios have increased in the same timeframe.

Ian Potter, operations manager of ARLA, said: “Many sellers were left with little option other than to rent their properties out earlier in the year but this trend seems to be slowly diminishing.