Rents pushed up by lack of supply

The lettings market saw a sharp upturn during the first quarter as a shortage of homes pushed rents higher, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

RICS says 30% of its members reported a rise rather than a fall in rents during the three months to April, up from a net balance of zero for the previous three months and compared to an all-time low of 58% reporting falls in rent in April last year.

Some 12% more surveyors reported a fall rather than a rise in the number of new landlord instructions in Q1.

A spokesman for RICS says that with sellers returning to the housing market, lettings supply has fallen back.

He says: “This is good news for landlords as rents are set to move higher in the coming months and yield returns are likely to improve.

“The news that buy-to-let specialists are beginning to lend again may also encourage investors to return to the market.”

Surveyors are now predicting that rents will continue to rise with the rental expectations net balance climbing to 36% – the highest figure since 1998.