A shortage of housing stock is forcing renters to stay put, with 73% of letting agents saying they have seen an increase in the number of tenants renewing contracts over the past year, according to Propertymark.
The rental market is seeing a surge of tenancy renewals as a lack of available properties means that “many tenants are preferring to stay put rather than move”, says the estate agents body’s July Private Rented Sector Report.
It says that rental demand continues to rise, with an average of 127 new applicants registered per member branch last month, adding that “this number has been on a slow upward trend since February”.
But members firms reported only having 11 properties on average per branch that were available to rent in July— the same figure as June.
This shortfall between supply and demand led to 82% of agents reporting month-on-month rent prices increasing in July — a new record for the body which has 18,000 members.
It adds: “Pressure on rents has been steadfast since spring last year.”
Propertymark chief executive Nathan Emerson says: “The private rental market continues to be battered by the perfect storm of high demand, low availability and affordability issues that shows no sign of easing.
“Governments across the UK are all engaged in a tenant-focussed reform of their private rental sectors.
“They also need to consider the heavy tax burden on property owners, the impact of more profitable and less regulated short-term lets, many of which stand empty for part of the year, and the lack of new homes being built to cope with the varied needs of a growing population.”