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Rents may be about to stabilise – ARLA

by: Paula John
  • 30/04/2012
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Rents may be about to stabilise – ARLA
There are signs that private rents, which are currently running at a record high, could level out soon, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

Half of ARLA’s members reported an increase in achievable rent levels in the first three months of 2012, but that figure was lower than the 60% recorded nine months ago, suggesting a downward trend.

Over the same time period, the average void period – the length of time for which a rental property is un-tenanted– rose for the second successive quarter, to an average of three weeks.

ARLA members also reported a drop in the number of new tenancies being signed, which is not unusual for the time of year, but could also be attributable to tenants’ inability to afford the rents being charged.

Tim Hyatt, ARLA President, said: “Our data suggests that things could be changing in the PRS as the amount being charged for rent is beginning to stabilise in some parts of the UK.

This could be due to a number of factors, including an increase in haggling forcing rent levels down.

“Our members also report a decline in the number of properties coming onto the rental market because they can’t be sold, suggesting that the initial boom in ‘reluctant landlords’ joining the PRS is coming to an end.

“However we know anecdotally that this is by no means a consistent picture across the UK, as there is still a huge demand for rental property in some parts of the country. Ultimately, the key challenge of undersupply has not been solved and there is still a need to provide the right housing, in the right places, across the wider housing market.”

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