Priorities for voters in the rental market

As the general election approaches, four key housing concerns have been voiced by property experts, estate agents, homeowners and renters.

Property portal Rightmove says its research has highlighted accelerated house-building, first-time buyer support, stamp duty reform and greater green incentives as priorities for voters.

A key ask of the next government is that they prioritise long-term solutions over short-term policies that only help certain people, or certain areas of the UK, at set moments in time.

The undersupply of housing in the UK has contributed to ever-increasing house prices and rents, with national average asking prices of homes now 22 per cent higher than five years ago, at £375,131, and national advertised rents up by 40 per cent, at £1,479 pcm.

Over the past five years, the gap between supply and demand has widened.

Demand is measured by looking at the number of people sending enquiries about homes for sale or to rent on Rightmove.

Since April 2019, buyer demand has risen by 15 per cent, while supply has decreased by six per cent.

In the rental market, demand has increased by 32 per cent, with supply reducing by 38 per cent.

Also in the rental market, the fast-growing build-to-rent (BTR) sector has helped to bring in a proportion of new developments, however there is still nowhere near enough stock to meet demand.

Building more homes is the fourth highest priority among tenants when asked what they want to see from the next government.

Hannah Marsh, co-founder of residential reviews platform HomeViews, now part of Rightmove, says: “There’s a wide-ranging group of people who live in, or who want to live in, build-to-rent homes – from young professionals to families.

“With a chronic shortage of rental stock in the UK, policy reform is needed to enable developments to be built more quickly.”

Green incentives are another requested change of the next government.

Rightmove’s lettings expert Christian Balshen, says: “Landlords need clarity around any legislation that may come in, but also need help with green incentives such as bigger, more widely accessible grants or tax savings, as these in turn will help tenants.”