Demand for quality rental properties remains high


At the end of 2014 The Association of Residential Letting Agent (ARLA) released their final quarterly report of the year, one of our Residential Lettings experts, and New Business Manager for South Manchester, Angie Christie took a look to see how the end of the year differed to the report released in September.

The main difference between the December and September reports is the increase in available rental properties; ARLA members have reported an increase of 10%. The increase in supply can be attributed to more investment being made in buy-to-let property from September to the end of the year.

Despite the increase in available properties, tenants still outweigh the number of properties by a considerable amount and the level of demand is still high. Just over two thirds of the ARLA members who responded reported that there continued to be more tenants than properties on their books. From speaking to our tenants, job relocations and difficulties in getting onto the property ladder seem to be important contributing factors to high numbers of tenants searching for their next home.

The average time a tenant remains in a property is also increasing, which is good news for buy-to-let investors, providing longer term security of income and keeping properties well-maintained. In September, the average time for a tenant to remain in a property was 20.1 months, and this has increased slightly in the Q4 report to 20.5 months. This continues the trend seen in 2014 as this was an increase from 19.3 months at the start of the year.

One positive decrease is that which has been seen in void periods across the North West; dropping from 26 days in the Q3 report to 22 days in the Q4 report. Here at Philip James, our average void period is just 15 days, a full seven days less than the regional average! We help our landlords to have a few voids as possible through our proactive property management and marketing strategies.

2015 will be an interesting year; with an election around the corner, we anticipate changes to the property sector, both within sales and lettings. We expect the trend of tenants outnumbering rental properties to continue, so demand will remain high and this could lead to some rental price increases.

If you are thinking of purchasing a BTL property, now would still be an ideal time. Or if you have tried unsuccessfully to sell your property, perhaps you should consider renting it out. During winter it may be worth having a tenant in your property to ensure it is looked after and heated.

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