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Email to a friend Back to Homepage Post navigation Next Print The number of tenants experiencing rent hikes hit record highs this year, but the sales market is in line with previous periods, agents claim. Analysis of 2019 activity among Propertymark members found that 46% of agents have reported that landlords have hiked rates this year, with the figure reaching a record high of 64% in August just two months after the tenant fees ban was introduced. Despite this, agents reported an increased number of prospective tenants searching for homes in August, when 76 were recorded per branch, compared with 73 on average across the year. The supply of rental accommodation increased in 2019, from 187 on average per branch in 2018, to 197 this year, ARLA Propertymark said. It reached an annual high in March, when letting agents were managing 203 properties per branch. The number of landlords selling up also remained high throughout the year at four per branch, spiking at five in April. David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “It’s no surprise that tenants have suffered intense rent increases this year. “We predicted this would happen as soon as the government announced a ban on tenant fees, and since the ban came into force in June, rent costs have continued to spiral. “Additionally, due to the significant amount of legislation that landlords face, this year they have continued to exit the market, which coupled with Brexit uncertainty and the looming election has left the sector in a state of despair. “Unfortunately, next year could go the same way, unless something is done to make the sector a more attractive investment.” In sales, NAEA Propertymark reported that over the course of 2019 demand was slightly higher than last year with an average of 320 house buyers registered per branch, compared with 318 on average throughout 2018. Looking back over the past decade, demand is up by 16%, from 275 per branch in 2009. Supply is only down from an average of 39 per branch per month in 2018 to 38 in 2019, NAEA Properytmark said, with the figure hitting 44 in August. This number has, however, dropped considerably over the past decade, from 65 on average per branch in 2009. The number of sales agreed per branch through the year remained the same at eight on average per month in 2019, while the proportion of total sales made to first-time buyers increased by two percentage points in 2019, from 25% in 2018 to 27%. Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “2019 has been an interesting year for the property market. “House buyers and sellers have been faced with a lot of uncertainty, which in turn affects sentiment and decision-making. “Activity in the housing market has remained consistent when compared to the last year, which was expected, as buyers and sellers hold off on purchases until the outcome of the election and Brexit is clear.”