Topic: UK private rented sector sees fewer serious arrears and landlor
|tmkImmo 03/11/2016 04:11AM|
UK private rented sector sees fewer serious arrears and landlords finances healthy
Tuesday, 08 March 2016
Image Tenants in the UK private rented sector are now less likely to suffer from a serious build-up of arrears with just 1.6% of tenancies in this position, the latest research shows.
The number who had moved out of series rent arrears improved by 1.5% in the final quarter of 2015 compared to the previous quarter, according to the latest Tenant Arrears Tracker by estate agency chains Your Move and Reeds Rains.
This reverses some of a deteriorating trend throughout the earlier parts of 2015. There were 82,900 households behind on more than two months’ rent, down from 84,200 in the third quarter of 2015.
However, the latest quarterly improvement still represents a worsening on an annual basis. The number of tenants in serious rent arrears remains 19.5% higher than in the final quarter of 2014.
But as a proportion of the entire market, the latest total still represents just 1.6% of tenancies across the UK private rented sector. This compares to a peak proportion of 2.9% of tenants in the first quarter of 2008. The absolute number of tenants in serious arrears is also mild on a historical basis, considerably below the record 116,600 such cases seen in the third quarter of 2012.
According to Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, an individual tenant is still extremely unlikely to fall into serious rent arrears. ‘In fact the proportion of renters getting seriously behind on payments has dropped considerably over the longer term. But absolute numbers are now going the right way too. With fewer people at risk from more serious consequences of struggling to pay the rent, this is great news,’ he said.
The tracker also shows that eviction rates have dropped in response to healthier tenant finances. In the final quarter of 2015 there were a total of 26,676 court orders issued for the eviction of tenants, on a seasonally adjusted basis.
This is down marginally by 0.4% compared to the previous quarter when seasonally adjusted eviction orders stood at 26,775. On an annual basis, downward progress for evictions is more considerable, with 5.3% fewer evictions than 28,167 a year before in the fourth quarter of 2014. The latest figures for evictions represent 32% of the stock of tenants in severe arrears in the fourth quarter, meaning only around one in three such cases translate into evictions each quarter.
Landlord finances are the healthiest on record, it also shows. Cases of landlords falling behind on their own financial commitments are diminishing. In the final three months of 2015 there were 5,500 examples of buy to let mortgage arrears, down by 3.5% from 5,700 in the previous quarter and a resumption of downward progress after the figure previously remained the same between the second and third quarter of 2015.
On an annual basis, progress for landlords’ finances has been far more considerable. The number of buy to let mortgages in arrears has dropped by 54% since standing at 11,900 cases in the fourth quarter of 2014.
‘Landlords and the buy to let industry have come in for serious criticism over the last year but the overwhelming evidence points to a vital, growing and successful industry. Landlords in the UK are providing more homes to let every month, expanding supply for tenants who avoid any serious problems paying the rent in more than 98% of cases,’ Gill explained.
‘When late rent does happen, landlords appear to be extremely flexible in the majority of cases, and eviction orders are decreasingly necessary. Buy to let mortgages are also increasingly reliable for lenders, as landlords are ever less likely to fall into arrears themselves,’ he added.
He pointed out that rising rents are a signal that demand is there for even more homes to let. ‘In a purchase market that increasingly favours sellers, demand from would be first time buyers will continue to grow even faster for rented homes,’ he said.
‘Additional investment from landlords should be welcomed. Yet the government’s looming Stamp Duty surcharge, which explicitly punishes investment in new buy to let properties, could damage supply of additional homes to let and potentially disrupt the relative balance of the modern buy to let industry,’ Gill concluded.
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