Now is the time for new landlords to let

The continued lack of new properties coupled with high demand from tenants suggests now is a good time for first-time landlords to come forward.

A lack of new properties to let has put pressure on prospective renters, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Tenant demand for rental properties picked up over the quarter to April – with a net balance of +60 per cent citing an increase across the UK, reports the organisation’s RICS Residential Market survey for April.

This is an improvement on January’s figure of +14 per cent, which respondents put down to the loosening Covid-19 restrictions and the positive outlook as more adults are vaccinated.

However, it is met by a falling supply of vacant rental properties which respondents predict will place upward pressure on rents.

A slowdown in the supply of new homes coupled with continued buyer demand has also seen price growth of homeowner properties accelerate, according to the survey.

For the first time this year respondents reported new buyer demand was positive across every region.

A lack of fresh listings was the biggest concern cited by respondents – with many saying it was not nearly enough to match the interest shown by potential buyers.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, says: “Housing supply, or more pertinently, the shortfall in supply relative to demand is the key theme coming through loud and clear from respondents to the latest RICS survey.

“While it may be simplistic to assume that higher numbers alone can redress the affordability issue particularly in a low interest rate environment, an uplift in delivery does have a role to play.

“Planning reforms as outlined in the Queen’s Speech are likely to provide part of the answer although it is critical, particularly with regard to permitted development rights, that quality and safety are not compromised.”

“Ensuring a broad range of tenures in the delivery pipeline is also important with anecdotal evidence from the survey emphasising a severe lack of stock in the private rental market as likely to drive up rents sharply over the next year.”