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Rental undersupply issue persisting

By comparison, just two years ago the number of members reporting an undersupply of rental homes in the UK was 10%, and 8% in central London.

Ian Potter, operations manager of ARLA, said: "As many parties are reporting, there is a clear shortage of homes to buy in the UK. Faced with this, many people are turning to rental homes as a more flexible option than buying; yet as our research highlights that the dearth of properties is just as real in the private rented sector (PRS), and is showing no signs of improvement.

"To work towards a solution, Government needs to look seriously at ways of incentivising investment into the PRS to increase the number of properties available for rent. At the same time, it needs to look at ways of regulating what is becoming an increasingly popular housing option, so that consumers and landlords are protected from issues such as loss of rent monies and deposits as well as defaults on mortgage and rental payments."

Susan Fitz-Gibbon, Director, Fitz-Gibbon Limited, West London:

"Due to demand outstripping supply rents are increasing and across the West London area we are witnessing rents increasing by some 12% and sometimes more. Tenants are staying put and many are extending existing tenancies."

Samantha Baden, Property Analyst at FindaProperty commented:

“The rental market is going through a crazy period at the moment. Although the number of homes available to rent has risen slightly recently, demand is dramatically exceeding supply and therefore rents are rising very fast. For example asking rents in London up are up 15% year on year.

“As more first-time buyers find themselves renting for longer while they save up a deposit to buy, so rental prices will continue to rise as competition becomes more intense. On the plus side, the strong yields are luring more buy-to-let investors back into the market so that’s why supply of rented properties is increasing.”

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