Two-thirds of landlords 'planning rent freeze next year'

by Sarah Ashcroft

Almost two-thirds of property owners are planning to freeze their rents next year, as the cost of leasing a home fast-approaches the height of its affordability.

This is according to a new study from housing search website Rightmove, which revealed the average cost for tenants residing in this type of dwelling is set to increase by around two per cent in 2013.

Representing a dramatic fall from the 4.5 per cent rises recorded over the last three years, the findings signal what could be a relief for many cash-strapped tenants who have been forced to tighten their purse strings in the current economic climate.

The study noted that rents have reached new highs in the last 12 months, as an increasing number of people resort to signing a rental agreement because they cannot afford to apply for a mortgage.

This was reflected in the Rightmove study, which found that the proportion of individuals who feel "trapped" in the rental sector due to financial constraints that are preventing them from purchasing a home is higher than ever before.

Researchers found some 59 per cent of participants cited money as the primary reason they cannot afford their own home, which is up from 54 per cent recorded in the previous quarter and the highest level recorded by the company since the survey began in 2010.

Commenting on the findings Miles Shipside - director of Rightmove - said the widening gap between demand and property supply has driven rents higher over the last few years.

He added: "The majority of landlords now seem to be prepared to exercise constraint and are planning a rent freeze for 2013.

"Lettings agents still report consistently high demand but more are warning landlords of the risks of squeezing tenants’ finances too hard. However, some tenants in rental hotspots like London and Manchester may bear the brunt of higher rises."

Published on: December 3, 2012

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