Zoopla reveals steady growth in the rental market

Going up… even Brexit wasn’t enough to prevent steady growth in the PRS last year

Yesterday’s Rental Market Report from Zoopla shows the continued resilience of the UK property market. Despite a turbulent year in politics as a result of MPs squabbling over Brexit, there has been steady rental growth across the board.

Core regional cities such as York, Bristol and Nottingham have seen 5% growth – more than double the UK average – thanks to strong local economies. No doubt they will benefit from the new government’s renewed focus on political devolution, with York being identified as a potential new home for the House of Lords.

Rental prices in London have increased by 2.8% – the highest rate in the capital for almost four years – and providing the final Brexit deal doesn’t prove too damaging – we expect this to continue.

Zoopla’s prediction of a 3.5% growth in rental prices during the coming year is welcome news for landlords and the institutional investors who continue to eye the UK rental market. This is borne out by recent research from Savills which shows there are now over 150,000 build-to-rent homes in the pipeline.

However, Zoopla signals warning signs too. Rental growth has largely been driven by higher wages but there are already signs that wage growth may be slowing. Lack of supply is another factor, with many private landlords looking to exit the market following tax and regulatory changes. A drop-off in available rental homes combined with reduced wage growth could leave renters out of pocket. To that end, the government should rethink its approach to buy-to-let landlords.

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