Less than a third of agents saw rents rise in December

Less than a third of tenants experienced rent increases last month, the ARLA Propertymark’s Private Rented Sector Report for December shows.

Letting agents reported that 30% of landlords increased rents last month, which is actually a marginal increase on the 28% of agents seeing landlords increasing rents in November, and the first time this figure has risen in four months.

However, December’s figure is still lower than October’s at 37% and September’s at 40%.

The number of new tenants in December stood at an average of 64 registered per branch, although this is down slightly from 65 in November, according to the figures.

This compares with 56 registered per branch in December 2019 – an 8% increase year-on-year.

Regionally, the West Midlands had the highest number of new tenants registered per branch with an average of 87. London had the second highest figure of 73 new tenants registered per branch in December.

Meanwhile, the number of properties managed per letting agent branch fell from 214 in November to 204 last month, a 5% fall.

This is a decline from December 2019, when branches managed 206 properties.

Arla Propertymark chief policy advisor Mark Hayward commented: “The slight fall in prospective tenants and properties managed per branch during the month of December is consistent with the usual seasonal lull, and testament to the current steady rental market.

“Letting agents are continuing to support landlords and their tenants during these ongoing difficult times, and it is imperative that tenancies are maintained to keep the rent flowing. The continuity of the private rental sector is vital to the nation’s economic bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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