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Renters in the West Midlands suffer the most with rent increases

29th October 2015

·        Three in five letting agents in the West Midlands saw rent increases for tenants this month

·        Supply in London still remains an issue

·        ARLA issues September Private Rental Sector (PRS) Report

Tenants in the West Midlands are suffering the most from rent increases, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) monthly Private Rental Sector (PRS) Report.

Three in five (59%) ARLA letting agents in the West Midlands witnessed a rent increase for tenants in September – the highest out of all regions in the UK. This is compared to just under a quarter (22%) of letting agents in London noticing rent increases since last month, and a UK average of 32%.

Supply of rental housing

Renters in East Midlands are likely to be most successful when finding a rental property, with an average of 272 managed properties per member branch, compared to the UK average of 182. Interestingly, London has the lowest number of managed rental properties, with only 124 properties managed on average per branch, despite the huge population – proving that the issue of supply is plaguing the capital.

Demand

Demand for rental properties is the most prominent in the North West, with agents registering on average 40 new prospective tenants per branch in September – the most out of all regions. Demand continues to be prevalent in the South with ARLA agents in London, South East and the South West all registering an average of 39 new prospective tenants per branch. Agents in the East Midlands and Scotland are seeing the least new tenants coming through their doors.

Tenants in the East of England seem the happiest, as they stay in rented homes for the longest duration, with most staying for 20 months at a time. However, those living in the North West only tend to live in each property for an average of 15 months at a time, perhaps explaining why it has the highest prospective tenants per branch.

The report also revealed that rental properties in London have an average of six viewings before they’re let – the highest amount of viewings out of all regions in the UK. This could be down to the battle for space in the capital and the fact that as soon as a property goes on the market in London, many people flock to see it straight away to fight the competition of other renters. This is compared to properties in the East of England being let after an average of three viewings.

David Cox, managing director, Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), comments on the findings:“It’s interesting to see how tenants across the country are affected in different ways when it comes to the rental market; each region has its own issues, whether it’s lack of suitable housing, no available housing at all, or over inflated rent prices. It’s a surprise to see that those renting in the West Midlands are suffering from rent increases the most, when many of us would automatically think tenants in London would be the most prone to rent increases due to the competition in the capital.

“The rental property market remains a significant concern, as prospective house buyers either can’t afford to get onto the housing ladder, or simply can’t find a house they are willing to buy – putting increasing pressure on the rental market. Until the issue of supply and demand is addressed, we will continue to see tenants across the country struggling to get a good deal on rental properties.”

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