Tenants are now staying in one property for 20 months, according to the latest research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents.
This figure is up year-on-year from an average of 19 months in the first quarter of last year, indicating that tenants are starting to take a longer-term view of renting a property. It is also the joint highest tenancy length recorded by ARLA.
Over half of ARLA agents (56.9%) are seeing more tenants looking for homes than there are properties available.
At the same time, there has been a sharp drop in the number of lettings agents reporting an increase in properties coming on to the market because they can’t be sold – from 42% at the end of 2012 to just 29% this quarter.
ARLA’s data comes from 527 member offices.
Ian Potter, ARLA managing director, said: “Our data suggested that tenants are increasingly sitting tight in their property and either reluctant or unable to move. This stagnation means fewer and fewer properties are freed up.
“We know that many tenants renting with ARLA member agents are frustrated first-time buyers, so it will be interesting to see if the recently announced Government initiatives such as Help to Buy will impact upon these numbers.”