Rents rose rapidly in the three months to the end of January 2010, according to the latest RICS Residential Lettings Survey.
The survey, which looked at the period from November 2010 to January 2011, found that 40% more chartered surveyors reported rents rose rather than fell in the three months to January – which is the highest positive reading in the survey’s history.
As rents increased, gross rental yields also rose sharply. They have now increased in each of the last four surveys.
Also 32% more surveyors reported seeing a rise rather than fall in demand, with houses more in demand than flats.
The survey indicates that the proportion of social tenants has broadly doubled from 6% before 2009 to 11% now. Meanwhile, the proportion of student lettings fell, moving from 9% in the previous survey, to 5% in the three months to January.
Supply of rental property to the market continued to decrease, with 4% more surveyors reporting decreases, not increases, in the three months to January. Interestingly, the percentage of stock from private landlords has fallen from over 80% before 2009 to around 70%.
Surveyors remain positive that the market will remain buoyant, with 37% more predicting rents will rise rather than fall over the three months to April 2011. All areas of the UK expect rents to increase, with relatively modest rises in the South West but much more notable increases in London.
Jeremy Leaf, RICS spokesperson, said: “The current buoyant state of the rental market is likely to persist for some time to come