Government intervention is being urged to boost the amount of housing stock as industry data shows a continued trend of a stock-starved market.
Agency trade body Propertymark has analysed its member data for the first half of the year, revealing that the average number of properties listed by member agents was 22 up to the end of June, down from 30 in 2021 and 37 in 2019.
An average of 38% of properties were being sold above asking price in the first half of 2022, up from 24% in 2021 and 5% in 2019.
More letting agents are reporting month-on-month rent increases, with an average of 76% across the first half of 2022 compared with 57% in 2021 and 37% in 2019.
The number of new prospective tenants registering per member branch continues to increase significantly from 68 in the first half of 2019, to 85 in 2021, and now sits at 98 in 2022.
Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, said: “Over the past six months, we’ve seen significant shifts in trends that professionals in the sector had been accustomed to.
“Mortgages including buy-to-let, which are on short term, fixed contracts, have been at historically low interest rate levels for years but are now rising sharply.
“Property owners seeing increases to their monthly repayments are having to raise rents. This is leaving many renters in difficulty due to affordability at a time where other costs are also rising.
“Despite inflation and interest rate rises, the sales market has so far continued to remain buoyant during turbulent times with homes under offer extremely quickly. However, with a continued rise in the number of buyers, stock levels need to increase.
“Since 2015, Government figures have shown the private rented sector has been slowly shrinking and latest data from Propertymark members suggests that this is nothing to do with demand from tenants tailing off, but instead is caused by the lack of incentives keeping landlords in the sector.
“As we move into the second half of the year, we hope to see slight increases in the levels of stock but without government intervention, these will barely scratch the surface of what is needed, as population growth continues to outpace house building rates.”