Research reveals need for urgent action over supply shortage

New research has revealed that the private rented sector is expanding at a faster pace than predicted - with Leeds identified as one of the UK's letting hotspots.

The findings have prompted Linley & Simpson to renew its calls for Government and banks to lift barriers, and stimulate investment in the sector, to give stock levels a much needed boost.

Unless more is done to entice a wider range of landlords, it warned that 2013 would see the current supply shortage remain on a collision course with ever-growing demand.

The scale of the challenge is revealed in the latest UK census, which suggests that the private rented sector now accounts for 18 per cent of all households - double the figure when Linley & Simpson launched 15 years ago.

In Leeds, 23 per cent of all homes - almost one in four - are now privately rented. And the rate is set to accelerate.

This year sees the introduction of the Government's £200m Built To Rent Fund to support the development of purpose-built privately-rent homes, and a reduction in Stamp Duty Land Tax from 5 per cent to 1 per cent on bulk purchases.

While these measures will help to generate extra capacity - as will changes to council tax rules in some districts from April that will see empty and second homes liable for the full rate - Linley & Simpson is urging further urgent action.

Meanwhile, the company is launching a series of informal advice sessions across its branch network for landlords wishing to expand their portfolios. As well as demystifying the process for new buy-to-let investors, the team will be on hand to give an expert insight into the current and future health of the market, highlight which properties are in high demand and where, and outline the potential returns that are available.


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