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Shortage in letting properties as potential first time buyers are forced to rent

13 June 2007
There is a shortage of rental accommodation in the UK, which can largely be explained by the rising cost of buying a property, according to the latest quarterly survey from the Association of Rental Letting Agents (ARLA).

The ARLA found that the demand for rented residential properties is continuing to outstrip supply, with 72% of agents in London saying that there are more tenants than properties - the highest figure seen since the ARLA surveys started six years ago.

Rents rose for the fourth quarter running for every type of property, and as a result of increased demand, void periods fell to an average of 24 days.

Adrian Turner, Chief Executive of he ARLA said: “There is a shortage of all forms of housing in this country and these results show that the shortage of good quality property is also apparent in the rented sector.

Research from the Department for Communities and Local Government found that house prices rose by 11.3 per cent in April, up from 10.9 per cent in March.

The average house price in the UK is now t £209,454, which is a 1.2 per cent rise on March's figure of £206,809.

David Stubbs, senior economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says the new figures, which show a rise of more than 7 per cent in every region of England - a rise of more than earning are increasing, indicates that first time buyer affordability is continuing to worsen across the country.

Mr Tuner argues that at a time where buying is more difficult, the rental sector is becoming more and more important.

“The private rented sector is continuing to provide choice in housing and a safety valve for the housing market,” he said, “particularly now, at a time of mixed expectations for future strong rises in house prices."

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