Letting market hit by uncertainty over the future of Britain’s role in Europe, but London continues to benefit from high demand for homes. Written by Micha FRazer-Carroll for http://www.theguardian.com .

Rents fall as Landlords remain nervous over Brexit

Almost half of lettings agents are reporting nervous landlords following Brexit, with 12% reporting asking rents have fallen over the past 10 days.

In a report published on Monday, the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla) says last month’s referendum vote has not rocked the rental market “yet”, however, uncertainty over the future of Britain’s role in Europe is making landlords jittery.

One in nine agents told Arla they have experienced an immediate dip in rents following last month’s Brexit result.

Soaring rents, particularly in London and the south-east, have been partly pushed upwards by recent arrivals from abroad, as well as a lack of available properties to rent.

“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. 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.”

Almost 36% of Arla members reported either a reduction or the same number of prospective tenants looking for properties.

Arla said that overall both supply and demand for rental accommodation was up in June. Prospective tenants saw a rise on average of 12% per Arla member, and properties on agents’ books were up by an average of 3%.

“If one thing is clear following Brexit, it’s that supply and demand remains a real issue in the rental market,” said Cox. “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.”

A separate report on Monday by the Taxpayer’s Alliance has called on stamp duty on homes to be cut by half and later abolished, because it is exacerbating supply shortages and driving up rents for tenants. It said the extra 3% stamp duty surcharge for buy-to-let and additional homes in particular should be abolished, warning that it will drive up rents for tenants as investors pass on costs.

Source: The Guardian