Bridging the rental stock supply gap

According to government figures, the supply of private rented housing in England has fallen by almost 260,000 over the past five years. A new report by Capital Economics warns that, without further action, the deficit could begin to snowball. The report, commissioned by the National Residential Landlords Association, observes that Government targets would amount to the need for 340,000 new homes a year across the UK by the middle of the decade.

Given that renting privately is the first tenure for nearly all young people, demand is only set to increase as the 15–24 age-bracket is forecast to grow by 866,000 (11%) between now and 2030. Modelling by Capital Economics suggests that without changes in tax or other policies, the private rented sector stock will decrease by a further 540,000 properties over the next ten years.

The report sets out how greater investment in the sector would support the provision of new housing through a combination of an increased rate of new builds; the switching of commercial property to residential use; the switching of stock from short-term to long-term lets and bringing empty homes back into use.

It also really outlines the importance and value of the private rented sector within the UK housing market. There’s always plenty of talk around the affordable housing gap for first-time buyers and whilst this remains an important issue to combat, with rental demand growing, additional support is required by landlords to help ensure they are in a position to provide sufficient good quality accommodation which meets ever-changing tenant demand. This can be an area which sometimes gets overlooked in parts and it’s a real positive to see such issues being brought to the fore. Let’s hope that these voices are being heard.

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