According to research for the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), 71 per cent of landlords said there was a rise in tenant demand during Q3, making it a record high. This was up on 65 per cent in Q3 last year, and 11 per cent during the same quarter in 2019.
Tenant demand was found to be strongest in the West Midlands, where 76 per cent of landlords saw a heightened need for rental property. This was followed by Wales at 75 per cent and the South East excluding London at 74 per cent.
Although tenant demand was rising, the survey also revealed that 12 per cent of landlords had sold property in Q3. NRLA said this was more than double the five per cent of landlords who said they added to their portfolio in the quarter.
Looking ahead, 28 per cent of respondents plan to reduce the number of properties they let out over the next 12 months, while just eight per cent intend to grow their portfolio.
The NRLA said the imbalance between the demand and supply of private rental property would negatively impact the “purchasing power of tenants”. It suggested that the supply of rented housing could be improved with government support such as the removal of the three percentage point stamp duty surcharge.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “Would-be renters face a desperate situation as ever-growing numbers seek to access a dwindling number of available homes.
“The government needs to accept the folly of a tax system that makes investment in holiday lets more sustainable than long-term homes to rent
“We need pro-growth tax measures. This should include ending the stamp duty levy on the purchase of homes to rent out, as well as reversing mortgage interest relief changes which have hit the sector hard.”