The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) monthly Private Rental Sector (PRS) Report has stated that the number of letting agents reporting rent increases for tenants has fallen.
For the first time this year, the number of ARLA agents seeing rent hikes for tenants has decreased from the previous month. The report reveals only 33% of agents reported an increase in August – the lowest since April this year. This is a fall from 37% last month.
The report said that tenants in the South West however are not benefiting from this. 42% of agents in the region are continuing to see rent prices hiked, up four percentage points from last month. This is compared to only 12% of agents in the North West who have witnessed a rent increase.
In Wales, tenants are worse off too. The number of landlords putting rents up for their tenants has increased threefold from July. This month 36% of letting agents in Wales saw increases, up 25% from July when just 11% agents reported rent hikes.
After a spike in the number of houses available to rent last month, supply has fallen back down to levels seen in June 2015. ARLA letting agents managed an average 178 properties per branch in August, compared to 189 in July.
The report also found the number of house hunters in the rental sector increased marginally in August; letting agents reported an average 36 prospective tenants registered per branch, compared to 35 in July.
The number of properties available to rent in London continued to fall in August, pushing demand for housing even harder in the capital and putting further pressure on house-hunters. With 110 properties registered per branch, compared to 117 in July, the task of finding a property in the capital’s rental sector is becoming increasingly difficult, the report said.
David Cox, ARLA’s managing director, said: “Our findings this month are good news for the majority of tenants, as less are experiencing rent hikes. However, a third of agents are still seeing landlords pushing rents up, which reflects the sorry state of affairs in the market.
“With increasing pressure on the dwindling supply of housing, and the number of house-hunters growing, rent increases are unfortunately very common – as one in three tenants are experiencing. Despite the fact they have fallen this month, its likely they will go back up again over the next few months.”