Looking for a home to rent? Don’t worry – you’re not the only one
This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.
If you’re one of the army of people who’ve been looking for a new home to rent recently, then the latest news from the Association of Residential Rental Agents (or ARLA for short) won’t come as a surprise.
What they’ve found, and you no doubt already know, is that there’s been an increase in the number of people on the hunt for a rental home. Specifically, ARLA asked its members – who are all residential letting agents – about demand and found that 74 per cent of them had more prospective tenants than homes to let over the past three months.
Two years ago, they asked a similar question, but found only 10 per cent of letting agents had an over-supply of would-be tenants.
“There is a clear shortage of homes to buy in the UK,” says ARLA’s Ian Potter. “Faced with this, many people are turning to rental homes as a more flexible option than buying; yet as our research highlights that the dearth of properties is just as real in the private rented sector and is showing no signs of improvement.”
One thing is for sure: the rental market is going through a crazy period at the moment and ARLA’s findings chime with FindaProperty.com’s own research into the sector. Next week, we’ll release our own quarterly Rental Index showing just that. What we can say now is that although the number of homes available to rent has recently risen slightly, demand is dramatically exceeding supply and therefore rents are rising very fast. For example asking rents in London up are up 15 per cent year on year.
And at the moment, it looks like this trend will continue. As more first-time buyers find themselves renting for longer while they save up a deposit to buy, so rental prices will continue to rise as competition becomes more intense. On the plus side, the strong yields are luring more buy-to-let investors back into the market so that’s why supply of rented properties is increasing.