Below is a quote from David Cox – managing director of ARLA
“The private rented sector (PRS) represents a more “affordable and accessible” means of housing than homeownership.
This is according to David Cox, managing director of ARLA, who has discussed the issue in light of the organisation’s latest PRS report.
It revealed 27 per cent of the association’s licensed letting agents have seen rents rise between December and January. The east of England had the most agencies reporting an increase (35 per cent), while the lowest was in Wales (11 per cent).
Mr Cox said that even though rents are rising, the PRS still represents the best housing option for a growing number of people in the UK.
“With house prices still high, along with stricter lending criteria for mortgages, the rental market is currently a much more accessible and affordable option to buying. Due to this, the demand for rental property is increasing, which impacts the cost of renting; people are willing to pay more to secure their desired property,” he stated.
Mr Cox said that if house prices continue to increase in 2015, rents are also likely to keep on growing.
In terms of rental supply, the ARLA report revealed the PRS is not suffering as pronounced a shortage as the selling market. The average number of properties managed by ARLA branches is currently 184. This rises to 266 in the East Midlands, but is only 140 in London.
Mr Cox said this does present a problem in the capital, as this is where demand for rental homes is strongest due to the unaffordability of homeownership in the city.
The average number of prospective tenants at ARLA agencies is currently 38, although the figure is higher in London at 45.
According to the organisation’s research, it takes around five viewings before a rental property is taken off the market. This rises to seven in London and is only three in the east of England.”