Rental Market Update September 2021

After an exceptionally busy summer it’s time for another rental market update to let you know what’s happening at the moment at both a local and national level. At Roberts & Co we are always interested in general market trends but as a very local agent we like to delve a bit deeper and share our experience of the market at a local level as well.

Following the publication of the Zoopla UK Rental Market Report in early September, we can confidently say this has been one of the busiest years since the portals started producing indexes and market reports. The Zoopla Rental Market Report has been in production since 2008, and this most recent report highlights the highest rental growth nationally since the report began, at +5.0%. There is also a widening gap between demand and supply, with year to date rental demand up 19% on last year, while the total available rental stock is down 13%. The total available stock is actually down 30% compared to normal levels at this time of year.

This is very much the market we are seeing at a local level, with a much-reduced number of new rental properties coming to the market. There are huge levels of demand for all new properties which are listed, with most properties attracting 10-15 viewings within 24 hours of first being marketed. Demand is particularly high for family homes of all sizes and smaller starter-type homes in all areas we cover. There are several theories as to why there are so few new properties coming to the market but one trend we have noted is that tenants don’t seem to be moving as much; the ones who are moving out tend to be those who have bought a property or their landlord has sold, rather than moving from one rental to another to upsize or change areas. It’s possible this is a symptom of the market being so busy – many tenants who are broadly ok in the property would rather stay where they are than risk not being able to find something or have to compete with a large number of other potential tenants.

Legislation and other updates

This Autumn we are expecting a white paper on the Renters Reform Bill which is likely to contain recommendations for further wide-scale changes to the private rented sector including abolishing Section 21 notices, possible changes to possession proceedings including proposals for a dedicated Housing Court, a lifetime deposit model and the potential for all landlords to be a member of a redress scheme. We are watching this very closely as the impact on the sector would be significant and we are poised to act fast to ensure our clients remain compliant with all legislation.

The furlough scheme is also due to end on 30th September, which some are predicting will lead to a number of job losses and potentially an uplift in rent arrears if large numbers of tenants are made unexpectedly redundant. From our perspective we don’t feel it is likely there will be a huge increase in tenant arrears in our local market as they have remained reasonably static throughout the pandemic and at a level we would consider normal – we currently manage well over 200 properties and only a very small percentage have an issue with rent arrears.

Notice periods are still currently at 4 months for a standard section 21. Although it has been widely reported that they will revert to the usual 2 month’s notice in October there has not yet been any confirmation that this will happen.

As ever, we’re working hard to keep our landlords compliant with legislation, up to date with maintenance issues and to make sure our tenants are happy where they live. With regular inspections, a dedicated local Property Management team with decades of experience between them and a focus on delivering exceptional customer service you can be assured that Roberts & Co will look after your property as if it was their own. If you’re thinking of renting a property out or if your agent isn’t filling you with confidence, why not give us a call today on 01772 746100 and see how we can help?