ARLA, the Association for Residential Letting Agents, recently speculated that 2012 will remain as difficult for renters as 2011 has been. According to the Operations Manager of ARLA, Ian Potter, the on-going shortage of decent rental properties will mean that demand stays higher than supply; a fact that will inevitably result in rental prices staying as promising as they are now.
When asked about his thoughts for 2012 Mr Potter said “Almost three quarters of ARLA members (74 per cent) already report that there are more tenants than available properties, and this is a story we’re likely to see worsen”. ARLA also said recently that they expect low to mid-range priced investment properties to be in especially high demand. When asked why this was they mentioned both high levels of unemployment and the fact that local authorities are now starting to decrease the amount of LHA that renters can claim.
There has been evidence over the last few months of more properties coming onto the rental market, mainly due to the expansion of the buy to let mortgage market, but it may take several years to tip the balance back to a position where demand and supply are more equal. For the time being it seems that private renters are going to have to cope with high rents and competition if they want to live in a property worth renting.