More homes could be let than sold by next year despite rent rises

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Countrywide, an estate agents and letting agency, has forecast than more homes will be let than sold by next year, reported in October 2016.

The firm’s September 2016 lettings index says there has been an increase in rented properties available this year partly due to commercial mortgages for buy-to-let properties available at low interest rates. Many landlords faced with increased stamp duty and cuts to tax benefits have increased rents.

Rents are rising but at a slower rate than last year. There is distinct difference between rent growth in the South and North of England. Growth in Northern cities has been high, but slowed down in London and many Southern towns.

Manchester has experienced higher growth than anywhere else, with a 7.1% rent rise on new lets. York, Leeds, Liverpool, and Glasgow have also seen rents rise over the last three months.

Cambridge, Oxford and London have experienced the greatest slowdown in rent rises, with some landlords in Cambridge and London reducing their asking rents on properties.

Johnny Morris, Research Director of Countrywide commented on the findings:

“With London rents growing at the slowest rate since the downturn (2008) and Northern cities recording rent rises three times as large as their Southern counterparts, there are signs that the North-South rental divide is starting to close.

Morris added that record activity was seen in September, and that it would be the first time in around 80 years that rented homes had outpaced bought ones.

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