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Rental sector rebounds from two-year low, says ARLA Propertymark

The rental sector appears to have bounced back from a two-year low recorded in December with tenant and property registrations increasing, ARLA Propertymark reports.

The trade body’s Private Rented Sector Report for January showed there were 34 prospective tenants registered per member branch, up from a two-year low of 26 in December and 10% up year-on- year.

The number of rental properties letting agents managed increased in January to 193 per branch from 188 in December. There were 173 recorded in January 2016.

Almost a quarter (23%) of the 144 agents who took part in the survey saw tenants experiencing rent hikes in January.

Your Move has also reported rent rises – but for the most part, minimal.

The average rent across England and Wales crept up just 1% in the year to the end of January to stand at £798.

Rents rose most in the east of England (6.9%) and in Wales (6.5%). However, rents in the south-west fell by 1.6%.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “When supply and demand are out of kilter, as they have been for so long now, the market isn’t balanced and fair for tenants, and rent prices will just continue to rise.

“Worse still, should the Government decide to implement an outright ban on letting agent fees when the consultation takes place, the situation will likely get worse for tenants.

“The costs of the vital services letting agent fees cover will need to be recouped, and this will get passed on to renters in inflated rental prices.

“This, combined with new landlords’ tax, particularly the upcoming changes to mortgage interest relief, means the rental market is far from reaching equilibrium.”

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