Members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents predict a fall in the number of homes being available to let next year - and higher rents as a result.
ARLA managing director David Cox says that the drop in stock will be down to the longer term effects of this year's stamp duty surcharge, while the increase in rents will be down to a factor of reduced supply, and attempts to recover monies lost to landlords through the restrictions on mortgage interest tax relief and the expected ban on letting agent fees applied to tenants.
Demand will continue to rise, and with less stock available for prospective tenants, competition will be high in 2017 says ARLA's forecast - and to make matters worse for new entrants, mortgages will be tougher to come by because of stricter criteria being forced upon lenders.
"Following the announcement of an outright ban on letting agent fees during the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, we expect rent prices to rise and tenants to be forced to look for properties in cheaper areas," says Cox.
"The government continues to lash out against the private rented sector to cover its own failure to build the number of homes this country needs. Such policies will have a detrimental effect on the very people the government aims to help the most. As a result, we predict 2017 will be a raw year for renters," he warns.
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