Housing Supply and Rents Research

Tenants face dwindling supply of housing

Tom Simcock
Written by Tom Simcock

Private sector tenants face a perfect storm with the supply of homes to rent set to fall as demand increases.

Our latest research involving a survey of almost 3,000 landlords found that 22 per cent plan to sell at least one of their properties over the next year, with just 18 per cent planning to buy additional properties to rent.

The new data, published in the Residential Landlord Association (RLA) research lab’s, PEARL, latest quarterly research report, finds also that 33 per cent of landlords have seen an increase in demand for homes to rent over the past three years.

Faced by an imbalance in the supply and demand for rental properties, 47 per cent of landlords indicated that they expected to increase rents over the next year. 35 per cent indicated that the changes to mortgage interest relief which will see landlords taxed on their turnover rather than their profit, unlike all other businesses, was the main reason why rents might increase.

Commenting on the findings, RLA Chairman, Alan Ward, said:

“As demand continues to increase for homes to rent, punitive tax changes are discouraging investment by the majority of good landlords who want to provide accommodation.

“Whilst efforts by the Government to support institutional investment in the sector are welcome, this will remain a drop in the ocean.

“To meet demand, we need pro-growth taxation that actively supports and encourages the majority of landlords who are individuals providing good housing, to invest in the new homes to rent we so desperately need.”

Read the RLA’s Senior Researcher, Tom Simcock’s blog post on the findings here.

Read the full report from the RLA’s Private renting Evidence, Analysis and Research Lab (PEARL) here.

Don’t forget to follow RLA PEARL on twitter here: @RLA_PEARL

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About the author

Tom Simcock

Tom Simcock

Tom is the Senior Researcher for the RLA and leads the RLA’s research lab; the Private renting Evidence, Analysis and Research Lab (PEARL). His expertise lies in researching change in society, public policy and quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Tom’s research on housing has received national media coverage, featuring on the front page of The Times, has influenced government policy making, and has been cited in debates in the House of Commons, House of Lords and by the London Mayor.


  • This is just the tip of the iceberg which has been predicted by industry experts and Landlords alike.
    The Government has chosen to ignore the obvious (why?) and save face by not reversing the policy now before any real damage is done. This will cost them the next election as the real damage of soaring rents and massive increases in homelessness, and misery to millions of Tenants forced to move to cheaper accommodation (with all the costs and upheaval that that entails) will be felt just before the next General Election.

  • Here in the Midlands ( Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield) where we own all our 3 bedroom family rental homes there has been a significant fall in properties for rental. The demand for this area is high because of the quality of the schools and all my tenants have been with me for 5 years+. Having just had a row with one of them because we dared to increase the rent for the first time in 6 years and then by only £30 a month we told them to find somewhere else but they had to come back cap in hand because there is no where else!. Only one property in this area of a similar size and £100 per month more. It is having a knock on effect of raising rents in Great Barr and Erdington and now a much reduced availability in those areas. I don’t think landlords are selling in this area because there are very few first time buyers homes available for sale, which is predominantly what landlords let in this area (ex council stock). Basically poor government policy right throughout both the letting and purchasing housing market is stagnating any movement in this area. Landlords aren’t buying or selling. I would like to sell one of mine as we are well into retirement but I fear my tenants would refuse to go then I have the stress and cost of eviction proceedings

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