Agents respond to Zoopla’s latest housing data

Posted on Friday, June 7, 2024

Agents have shared their thoughts on Zoopla’s latest Rental Price Index, revealing that overall, rents went up 6.6% in year to April – the lowest for two and a half years.

Rents fell in several cities in the first three months of this year according to new data, which will come as welcome news to tenants following years of constant rises.

According to Zoopla, average rents have dropped in Nottingham (1.4 per cent) followed by Brighton at 1.1 per cent and York and Glasgow, both at 0.4 per cent.

They have also fallen by 0.3 per cent in Cambridge and London, as we head into the peak rental season between May and September.

While the falls are modest, Zoopla said it provided ‘clear evidence that rental market dynamics are starting to turn’ in these areas, following double-digit annual rises in recent years.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank commented, “Rental growth has calmed down since the pandemic but it’s still high by historical standards. Landlords have left the sector as red tape, tax and legislative uncertainty have proliferated, which has ultimately hurt tenants.

“Average rents are 22% higher than they were before the pandemic and the figure is even higher in many areas. Abandoning the Renters Reform Bill before the election will only prolong the sense of limbo for landlords, which means more may sell up.”

Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, commented: “Our member agents have told us for years of the growing disparity in the number of private rented homes on the market in comparison to the rising demand from tenants.

“As legal and financial obligations increase for landlords, it’s no surprise that many are turning elsewhere to invest their money. A priority for the new UK Government should be to support and incentivise landlords to invest, not to deter or penalise them like we’ve continued to see in the past.

“We want to get rent levels back down to sensible and affordable levels for the nation, and without a boost in supply, this is unlikely to happen.”

Nicola Thivessen, director of group compliance at KFH, said: “It is positive to see rental inflation at its lowest in 30 months, although demand for available property remains high, with supply still a third lower than pre-pandemic.

“As we head into the peak summer period, the sector would benefit greatly from a continuation of more available homes to rent, which would help level out the ongoing imbalance between supply and demand, easing the pressure off tenants in terms of affordability.”

Via @PropertyIndustryEye