A U.K. gauge of residential rents increased for the first time in almost two years in the three months through April as a decline in supply benefited landlords, according to a poll of brokers.
The number of real-estate agents saying rents increased exceeded those reporting declines by 30 percent, according to a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Responses were balanced in the previous quarter. In the year- earlier period, 58 percent more respondents reported falling rents, a record low for the survey.
A recovery in the housing market may have spurred “accidental landlords” to sell their properties, cutting the number of rental homes on the market, RICS said. Thirty percent more respondents saw a rise in demand than recorded a drop, the strongest reading since the quarter though January 2009. Brokers expect rents to continue increasing in the next three months.
“With sellers back in the housing market, supply has fallen back in the lettings sector,” RICS spokesman Jeremy Leaf said in a statement. “This is good news for landlords as rents are set to move higher in the coming months and yield returns are likely to improve.”
Demand for houses continued to outstrip that for apartments, though by less than in the previous quarter, RICS said. Tenant demand and rent increases were strongest in London and the East.
The last time more agents reported rent increases than declines was in the second quarter of 2008.