The Private Rented Sector – Demand, Prices, and Our Services
If we go by popular perception it is currently both the best of times and the worst of times in the private rented sector. The best of times for landlords as demand for rented properties reaches unprecedented levels and the worst for many prospective renters who face continued price rises that make renting exorbitantly expensive as landlords cash in on the demand for properties.
But this is only a half-truth, for despite record levels of demand tenants are now as well looked after by landlords as ever before, with price rises no nearly as severe as some might believe.
That we are seeing record levels of demand in the private rented sector is undeniable. Research carried out by the estate agents Sequence reveals that there are 6 prospective tenants for every 1 property on the rental market at present.
Similarly the number of viewings of each rental property had also increased by 6 per cent across the previous 12 months, with the total reaching levels not seen since November 2011. New tenancies have increased, so the Sequence report shows, by 17 per cent across the year.
Now the simple law of supply and demand would suggest that with the increased demand for rental property then prices should similarly be rocketing upwards. But this is hardly the case – the Sequence report puts average monthly rental prices at 4 per cent across the previous year, whilst the official figures suggest that private rents have not actually increased over the last 5 years in real terms.
Figures from the English Housing Survey suggest that rents have gone up 7 per cent since 2008 at a rate that is still well below inflation. Back in May 2014 LSL Property Services suggested that in the last 12 months rents on average across the UK had increased by only £8.
The fact is that landlords have no interest in putting up rents at every opportunity as it simply is not cost-effective. They much prefer keeping hold of a good tenant on a more modest rent than having to re-advertise and keep the property temporarily vacant for a new tenant who will be prepared to pay an increased rent. This method simply amounts to a false economy for landlords, hence the stable rental prices. It is thus a good time to be both a landlord and a tenant – so long as you make the most of things and find a good tenant, or the property you are looking for.
Here at Robert Oulsnam and Company we can help both to landlords and prospective tenants. We have over 40 years of experience organising lettings and are members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents and the Surveyors Ombudsman Service.
At Robert Oulsnam we can manage a rental property for a landlord and oversee the advertising, legal and administrative side of things – and for prospective tenants we can provide extensive listings of available properties via email and SMS, organise viewing 7 days a week, offer advice on affordability and guide you through the agreement process.