The number of properties available for rent in London has fallen far below the national average in the first month of the year.
According to a report from ARLA Propertymark, London letting agents had fewer properties on their books per branch in January when compared with letting agents outside London.
Some landlords are struggling to make ends meet when letting to tenants in the capital, causing them to sell their properties. With fewer rental properties available to tenants and demand still strong, rent rises may well follow.
ARLA Propertymark’s Chief Executive, David Cox, said: “The rental market in London should be thriving – the capital is a hub for business and culture and attracts a huge influx of new residents every year.” But, Cox continued, “Government policies designed to help renters now seem to be having the opposite effect”.
Successive measures implemented by the government with an aim to slow buy-to-let investor activity and free up properties for first-time buyers have doubtless contributed to the findings uncovered in this report.
Landlords have had to adapt to changes to stamp duty when purchasing second or investment homes, and to mortgage interest tax relief, among other measures.
However, according to data released by MT Finance, a third of well-established property landlords plan to expand their portfolios in the coming year – which is positive news for tenants.
Though challenges remain for landlords and indeed tenants, tenant demand in London is strong.
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