Steve Smith, Chairman of PRS REIT, which has the largest portfolio of single-family rental homes in the UK [5,500], made the following comments in the company’s year end report:.
“The portfolio’s outstanding asset performance to date demonstrates the continuing market need for high-quality family rental homes. Supply side issues have worsened over the year, with private landlords continuing to exit the market, while demand has been further fuelled by rising interest rates and general economic uncertainty. These factors have put further obstacles in place for potential homeowners.
In its latest Housing Insight Report, published in September 2023, Propertymark, the leading professional body for estate and letting agents, commercial agents, auctioneers, valuers and inventory providers, stated that the number of new applicants registered in August 2023 per member branch was up by 32% year-on-year, and that the number of properties available to rent per member branch in August was an average of 11, unchanged from August 2022. This “remains drastically below what is needed to keep up with current demand”. Propertymark expects this gap to widen as more people come to the market to look for a home with very few properties available to rent. Research by TwentyCi, which provides UK residential property data, shows that the number of UK homes available to rent has dropped to a 14-year low. The Company’s experience of tenants bidding above asking prices to secure rental property reflects this mismatch of supply versus demand.”