Large decrease in London rental properties

PRS REPORT: Propertymark agents’ data shows the availability of rental stock in London has fallen by 71 per cent in 12 months.

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Properties to rent

The number of properties managed per member agent branch decreased from 212 in November to 204 in December. Year-on-year this is average and in line with last year. Member agents also reported that within their portfolios, they had on average just six properties available for rent per branch. 

Of properties that were empty and available for rent, London had an average of just 4 per member branch. This is a decline from last December when the figure stood at 14. Humberside had the highest number of properties managed per member agent branch with an average figure of 313.     

Tenant numbers

The average number of new prospective tenants registered per branch fell in December to 67. However, it was the highest on record for the month of December.

Regionally, the West Midlands had the highest number of new tenants registered per branch with an average of 106. This number was lowest in Wales, where there was only an average of 21 new prospective tenants registered in December.

Rent prices

56 per cent of member agents reported rent prices increasing which is an overall fall for the fourth consecutive month. The North West of England was most affected with 78 per cent of member agents in the area reporting rents increasing.

Our latest report shows a usual December dip, however, when compared with historic data the demand agents have seen has still been unusually high. As the private rented sector was under the microscope of policy makers last year and house prices boomed some landlords decided to exit and consider other options. It’s important that new landlords are enticed into the market to provide much needed homes. 

In particular, the London market has been uniquely affected by the pandemic with many people leaving the city as commuting routines relaxed. What we are seeing now is as people look to return to London, the landlords that were there before having left also. The lack of homes not only pushes up prices but puts more pressure on to social housing systems.

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Nathan Emerson CEO | Propertymark