Number of surveyors reporting rent rises go up in Q1

Rents rose further in the three months to April, with 13% more chartered surveyors reporting rises rather than falls in the period.

The latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors shows the growth was largely driven by increasing demand as a net balance of 15% more respondents reported rises in prospective tenants, with houses in greater demand than flats.

Surveyors remain positive that the market will remain buoyant over the next three months, with 13% more predicting rents will rise rather than fall.

Across the UK, all areas expect rents to continue to rise except Scotland, where expectations entered negative territory for the first time since October 2009.

Rental values across the UK have now grown consistently since 2009 as unaffordable mortgage finance and large deposit requirements remain a barrier to home ownership, forcing many potential buyers to turn to the rental market.

Significantly, supply of property continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace, with 7% more surveyors reporting increases rather than decreases in the number of landlords looking to let properties.

Peter Bolton King, global residential director at RICS, says: “The rental market is still fairly buoyant and this looks likely to continue, given the challenges facing the sales market. Indeed, mortgage finance may become even harder to access, particularly for first-time buyers, if the euro crisis continues to deepen.

“This points to tenant demand continuing to outpace supply. As a result, rents will remain on an upward trajectory, adding to the pressure on many households, whose incomes are already being squeezed.”