Supply of rental properties drops to 21-month low, report shows

The number of rental properties available for tenants fell in February, while demand from prospective renters also dropped, and the rate of tenants experiencing rent rises increased in frequency as well but is overall better than in February 2017.

ARLA Propertymark is today issuing its February Private Rented Sector (PRS) Report.1                        

Supply of rental stock

  • The number of rental properties letting agents managed fell by five per cent in February, with 175 on average per branch compared to 184 in January.
  • Supply has not been this low since May 2016, when it stood at 171.
  • From a year on year perspective, this figure is low. In February 2017, letting agents managed 183 on average per branch, 176 on average in February 2016 and 184 on average per branch in February 2015.

Demand for rental properties

  • Demand for rental accommodation also dipped in February. On average, letting agents registered 61 prospective tenants per branch in February, compared to 70 in January, a 13 per cent decrease. 2
  • This indicates that the New Year rush for new homes is now over.

Rent prices

  • One in five (20 per cent) tenants experienced rent hikes February, compared to 19 per cent in January
  • This figure is down year on year; In February 2017, 25 per cent of tenants had their rents increased, 29 per cent were subject to rent rises in February 2016 and 31% experienced hikes in February 2015.


Figure 1: The number of agents witnessing rent hikes in February year-on-year

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, said:

“This month’s results continue to show a drop in the supply of rental properties and this is no surprise; the minimum energy efficiency standards come into effect in April meaning all rental properties must be EPC rated E or above. The dip in supply indicates that landlords are cutting it fine and taking their properties off the market to make the necessary changes before the deadline – but we could also see up to 300,000 properties taken off the after the deadline passes on Sunday because they don’t reach the minimum requirements. This is also likely to push rent costs up as competition heats up among prospective tenants. We could have a supply crisis on our hands and for landlords who haven’t yet started to upgrade their properties, now is the time to act and fast.”


1 Opinium Research carried out an online survey among 356 ARLA members from 6th – 14th March 2018. ARLA Propertymark Protected letting agents were surveyed on a number of key rental sector issues including supply and demand, the management of BTL properties, and monthly rent prices.

2 Based on new option ranges, so comparisons beyond April unavailable



Kindly shared by ARLA Propertymark