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Increased uncertainty

Increased uncertainty

Almost half of letting agents say they have seen uncertainty from their landlord clients "which could cause waves in the rental market over the coming months," warns the Association of Residential Letting Agents.

In ARLA's June rental market report, it says there was broad stability in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, with little to no movement in terms of rental costs - although it says 12 per cent of its agent members "reported an immediate dip in rent."

However, 77 per cent saw no change which the association says contradicted expectations amongst letting agents surveyed before the June 23 referendum. 

Broadly speaking the supply of available properties and demand for rental housing remained the same immediately following the result - 67 per cent of ARLA members reported no change in supply, and a further 64 per cent reported no change in the number of prospective tenants looking for properties.

"However, since the result almost half (45 per cent) of letting agents have witnessed uncertainty from landlords looking to let properties, which could cause waves in the rental market over the coming months," according to the report.

"What we need is some certainty from the new government that housing remains a priority with the rental market playing a central [role]. For example, we want to avoid a situation where institutional investors start pulling away from the market because ultimately this will impact tenants by squeezing supply further and pushing up rents," warns David Cox, managing director of ARLA.

"Although we've seen some hesitation from landlords this is relatively mild and it's important they do not act in haste. Any inevitable longer term changes will then be taken on board with greater ease."

Cox adds: "If one thing is clear following Brexit, it's that supply and demand remains a real issue in the rental market. If supply continues to dwindle against growing demand, no matter what the eventual implications of Brexit are, renting will become more difficult and expensive for tenants."

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