Rental sector grew notably in 2017

By Alex Timperley, 18 January 2018

New analysis from Countrywide has revealed that the UK rental sector continued to grow strongly over 2017. Average rental growth of 2.4% in 2017 – compared to growth of 1.8% in 2016 – is a good indication that the market remains buoyant.

The average rent was £960 per month by the end of the year, and Countrywide also reports that 46% of landlords increased the rent when re-letting a home. There was also a fall in the total number of homes bought by landlords in every region in 2017, and in particular in London. The trend for landlords looking away from the capital city looks set to continue on into the future.

This slight fall in the overall number of landlords purchasing new homes has meant that the overall supply continued to grow at a slower pace than the number of people looking for rental accommodation. With this in mind, it would not be a surprise to see a similar or greater amount of rental growth over the next year.

This strong end to 2017 is not the only good news in the sector at the moment. Rightmove, the leading online property portal, has reported that visits to their site are up by 9% so far in 2018 compared to the same period last year. The average value of a home added to Rightmove has also increased by 0.7% year on year. The overall number of sales has fallen slightly – demonstrating that there is still enough stock in the market for people to be “choosy” – but this figure is expected to pick up in the coming months.

Overall, the market entered 2018 in good health and the reports from January so far have been encouraging. All indications show that the rental sector will continue to grow over the next 12 months and into the future, and that there may be interesting changes by the time the year is over. For instance, it will be interesting to see the result of the upcoming government debate on a bill to allow tenants to sue landlords over poor living conditions – Intus Lettings will have news on any developments as they become clear.

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