The number of homes available to rent via letting has halved over the past four years, worrying new research from Propertymark reveals.
Its latest market report says landlords are leaving the market in unusually high numbers and that between 2019 and 2022 some 94% of landlords who removed their homes from the market did so to sell the property.
And over half of rental properties sold in March this year alone did not return to the private rented market.
The trade organisation’s chief executive Nathan Emerson (pictured) says the rapidly-shrinking rental market is bad news for renters, and that it explains the big rent rises seen in many areas across the UK recently.
He also says the lack of property within the private rented sector is the root cause for rent increases and rising figures on social housing lists and lays the blame squarely at the Government’s doorstep.
“We know from our qualitative research that the most common reasons for landlords to choose to sell their properties and no longer provide homes are around risk, finances and viability,” he says.
“Landlords and letting agents have been the subject of extreme legislation changes as the UK Government tries to improve the sector.
“However, without a middle ground, these changes are actually proving detrimental to those they are supposed to protect.
“Sadly we do not see this improving as the sector braces itself for more changes within the anticipated Renters’ Reform Bill and upcoming energy efficiency targets.”
Propertymark surveyed 443 agents working for businesses with a total of over 4,000 branches across all four UK nations.
Read Propertymark’s full report here.