New research by Propertymark shows that the private rented market is clearly shrinking, as buy-to-let landlords are deterred by greater taxation and legislative restrictions.
The study reveals that the number of properties available to rent through letting agents in the month of March halved between 2019 and 2022.
During the same four-year period, 94% of landlords who removed their property from the rental market did so to sell it.
More than half of rental properties sold in March this year alone did not return to the private rented market.
Nathan Emerson, Propertymark’s CEO, said: “Our research presents a worrying picture for private renters.
“The number of properties available to rent has been diminishing with a large portion of landlords choosing to sell their properties. A lack of property is the root cause for rent increases and rising figures on social housing lists.
“We know from our qualitative research that the most common reasons for landlords to choose to sell their properties and no longer provide homes are around risk, finances and viability.
“Landlords and letting agents have been the subject of extreme legislation changes as the UK Government tries to improve the sector. However, without a middle ground, these changes are actually proving detrimental to those they are supposed to protect.
“Sadly we do not see this improving as the sector braces itself for more changes within the anticipated Renters’ Reform Bill and upcoming energy efficiency targets.”
Propertymark surveyed 443 agents working for businesses with a combined total of over 4,000 branches across all four UK nations.