This has left many would-be buyers with no choice but to rent.
But with more people choosing to rent than ever before, the market is currently witnessing a shortage of quality rented accommodation, the result of which has been an increase in rents in almost every area in Britain as tenants compete for the same properties.
Whilst a mix of high demand and low supply is generally good news for existing landlords – as they can charge higher rents and enjoy reduced void periods – the reality is that the sector is unable to cope with such overwhelming demand.
Indeed the situation is likely to become even worse over the coming months as many so-called ‘accidental landlords’, who entered the market when they struggled to sell their homes during the downturn, are leaving to try and sell their properties again.
Graham Kinnear, Managing Director at Landlord Assist is concerned by the falling number of properties on the market.
He says: “We are seeing increased rents and reduced supply at a time when the private rented sector is seeing an enormous increase in demand. This situation isn’t being helped by ‘accidental landlords’ who are continuing to release their homes onto the sales market, thereby further reducing the number of properties available to rent.
“Professional landlords are being encouraged by low interest rates and better products from lenders, but it remains to be seen how many landlords will increase their portfolios.”
Stephen Parry, Commercial Director at Landlord Assist says: “’Accidental landlords’ played a pivotal role in addressing the housing shortage during the height of the recession. However, it was never a long-term solution and signs of stability in the housing market are encouraging them to sell instead of continuing in the buy-to-let sector.
“Unfortunately this will to lead to fewer properties coming onto the market at a time when the sector is already struggling to accommodate growing numbers.
“We would like the Government to introduce measures to enable existing investors to expand their portfolios and encourage new investors to enter the market without undue bureaucracy.”
Have your say on this story using the comment section below