The rental market is booming as demand for properties rises, according to ARLA Propertymark’s latest PRS report.

The average number of new prospective tenants registered per branch jumped to 84 in March, up from February’s figure of 82 – the third consecutive monthly increase. Regionally, the West Midlands saw the highest number of new tenants registered, with an average of 157, while Scotland’s agents saw the lowest, with an average of 31 new prospective tenants.

Tenants experiencing rent rises went up last month, as 60% of agents saw landlords increasing rent compared to 49% in February, while it was just 30% in March 2019. The number of tenants successfully negotiating rent reductions fell to 1.7% in March, down from 2%, which is the lowest number recorded since October last year.

Managing to fall

The number of properties managed per letting agent branch fell from 195 in February to 193. The West Midlands had the highest number of properties managed per letting agent branch with 260, while the capital’s agents experienced the lowest amount of rental stock with an average of 128 properties managed per branch.

The average number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties remained consistent for the sixth month in a row, at four per branch in March. This figure was also the same in March 2018 and March 2019.

ARLA Propertymark’s chief policy advisor, Mark Hayward (pictured), says: “Of course, as demand rises and the number of properties decreases, rent prices will inflate, but we’d encourage letting agents to continue to support landlords and their tenants throughout the ongoing Covid-19 difficulties where possible and ultimately it is positive to see rent flowing and incomes returning for many people.”

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