According to data from ARLA Propertymark’s July private rental sector (PRS) report the number of new prospective tenants registered at each letting agent branch increased from 71 in June, to 79 in July – the highest level seen in 2018 so far.
This was the highest since September 2017 when there were also 79 per branch, and was up 13% year-on-year as there were just 70 prospective tenants registered per branch in July 2017.
In contrast the number of rental properties dipped four per cent year-on-year to 184 per branch – down from 192 in July 2017. It also fell from 191 in June 2018.
Perhaps surprisingly, despite the rise in demand, the number of tenants experiencing rent hikes dropped slightly in July to 31% – down from 35% in June.
However, this figure was unchanged on July 2017.
ARLA Propertymark chief executive David Cox said: “Buy-to-let investors are being pushed out of the market by increasing costs and continued regulatory change, and new landlords are being deterred from entering.
“Last month, an average of four landlords took their properties off the market per branch, up from three this time last year – and as supply falls, competition among tenants increases, which pushes up rent costs. Almost a third saw their rents rise last month, and although this figure was down from June, it’s still far too high.
“To put tenants back in the driving seat, we need more homes available to rent, and the only way this will be achieved is if the government makes the market more attractive for buy-to-let investors.”