Number of tenants hunting for a new home is up 38% in a year
- An average of 187 tenants registered in July this year, up from 127 a year earlier
- Mismatch between rental supply and demand grew in July, says Propertymark
The number of tenants signing up with a lettings agent to find a new home showed a ‘sizeable jump’ in July, new figures reveal.
Numbers were up almost 38 per cent annually, with the trend showing ‘no signs of slowing down’, according to trade body Propertymark.
It said 187 prospective tenants registered per branch on average in July this year, compared to 127 a year earlier.
An average of 187 tenants registered in July this year, up from 127 a year earlier, says Propertymark
The number of properties available to rent per member branch increased slightly in July to an average of 14.
However, this is still below what is needed to keep up with current demand.
Propertymark said that with demand up and stock levels down, it is ‘no surprise’ that the mismatch between supply and demand continued to grow in July.
It said there was an average of 13 new prospective tenants registering per available property during the month.
At the same time, 70 per cent of responding agents reported rents increasing month-on-month on average at their branch in July 2023.
However, while this remains high, it is down from 74 per cent in the same month a year ago.
Nathan Emerson, of Propertymark, called for the ‘fundamental problem’ of undersupply to be urgently addressed.
And he also said the provision of desperately needed homes in the private rented sector must be ‘adequately incentivised’.
He said: ‘In the lettings market, we continue to see an alarming disparity in the number of homes available to rent when compared with growing demand from prospective tenants.
‘The number of prospective new tenants is up by 38 per cent in July compared to the same time last year, yet the number of properties available per member branch has risen by only 24 per cent meaning this gap is continuing to widen from already worrying levels.
‘This mismatch in supply and demand is putting pressure on rents with six per cent of tenants per member branch falling into arrears doubling compared to February 2023.’
Mismatch between rental supply and demand grew in July, according to Propertymark
Tenants have faced a crippling rise in rents during the past year.
Separate figures found that rents rose 5.3 per cent in the 12 months to July 2023, according to the Office for National Statistics.
It is the largest annual percentage change since these records began in January 2016.
The ONS said the annual rate of rental inflation began to increase in the second half of 2021.
In the 12 months to July this year, rental prices in Britain – excluding London – increased 5.2 per cent, up from 5.1 per cent in the 12 months to June 2023.
Meanwhile, rents in London rose at a faster rate, at 5.5 per cent in the 12 months to July this year, up from 5.3 per cent in the 12 months to June 2023.
It is the highest annual percentage change since the London data series began in January 2006.
And separate research by Goodlord shows the average cost of rent in England has reached a record £1,367 a month per property, while in London average values have climbed to £1,986 a month.
It said prices were being pushed up by students seeking accommodation for the new university term.