03 Feb 2022

Letting agents’ trade group ARLA Propertymark is raising the alarm over what it believes is a particular shortage of landlords in London.

In its latest market snapshot, Propertymark chief executive Nathan Emerson says: “As the private rented sector was under the microscope of policy makers last year and house prices boomed some landlords decided to exit and consider other options. It’s important that new landlords are enticed into the market to provide much needed homes.

“In particular, the London market has been uniquely affected by the pandemic with many people leaving the city as commuting routines relaxed. What we are seeing now is as people look to return to London, the landlords that were there before have left also. The lack of homes not only pushes up prices but puts more pressure on to social housing systems.”

The latest ARLA Propertymark report relates to December and shows that the average number of new prospective tenants registered per branch fell in December to 67, the highest on record for the month of December.

Regionally, the West Midlands had the highest number of new tenants registered per branch with an average of 106. 

This number was lowest in Wales, where there was only an average of 21 new prospective tenants registered in December.

In terms of rents, 56 per cent of member agents reported rent prices increasing which is an overall fall for the fourth consecutive month. The North West of England was most affected with 78 per cent of member agents in the area reporting rents increasing.

The number of properties managed per member agent branch decreased from 212 in November to 204 in December. Year-on-year this is average and in line with last year which also stood at 204.

ARLA agents reported that within their portfolios, they had on average just six properties available for rent per branch.

Regionally, Humberside had the highest number of properties managed per member agent branch with an average figure of 313. However, rental stock was the lowest in London with an average of 131 properties managed per member branch.

Of properties that were empty and available for rent, London had an average of just four per member branch. This is a 71 per cent decline from last December when the figure stood at 14.

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