The Association of Residential Letting Agents has just published a new report on the Private Rented Sector.
Its author, Professor Michael Ball, argues that rents could rise by 10-15 per cent in 2008 and 2009.
Far be it for me to cross swords with a fully paid up Professor of Urban and Property Economics, but did he, by any chance, take a look at the latest ARLA report on the buy-to-let market?
Here’s a direct quote:
Compared with three months ago, weighted average rents for houses are down by seven per cent as a result of decreases ofper cent in Prime Central London, five per cent for the Rest of the UK and one per cent for the Rest of the South East.
Average rents for flats are also down overall, by nine per cent, as a result of decreases for all the broad geographical areas.
Ball makes the point that rents will rise because supply will be cut off by fewer landlords buying. But RICS recently noted that supply was on the rise because lots of vendors unable to sell are letting the place out instead.
He also argues that landlords will be keen to make up for the impact of higher interest rates and inflation. But bigger bills hit tenants too, and there must, surely, be a limit to how far they can be pushed?
Is the good professor right? I’d like to hear from all you landlords, tenants and letting agents out there – what’s happening to rents in your area?
“Evan, EVAN, could I just finish answering the question if that’s ok….”
Housing Minister Caroline Flint was on a hiding to nothing this morning as she tried to avoid questions about the Government’s housing policy and the likelihood of actually building 3m new homes by 2020.
She was, however, given a bit of a mauling by Evan Davis (presenter of Radio 4′s Today programme), not least when he asked if house price falls were a Good Thing.
Full marks there for a devilishly clever question – though Flint, spotting the danger, knew she’d be damned if she said yes and damned if she said no.
So in time-honoured politico fashion she pretended she’d been asked a completely different question.
But what answer would you give? Are price falls a bad thing, and if not, what’s positive about the current situation?
You can hear the interview on the BBC (if you want to cut to the chase, she comes in at 4:18 mins):