Rent rises seems to be easing up a little, with the current annual increase “only” 4.6%. We have become used to seeing 6% to 10% rises over the last 2 years, so maybe the rental market is coming off the boil just a bit.
The lowest number of rental listings ever seen on ARMLS (2,117) occurred on March 14. We have recovered to 3,132 as of yesterday, so prospective tenants have 48% more choice than they had in March. There is always a seasonal swing like this, however, so I am not quite ready to pronounce this as a significant change just yet. In 2015, we went from 2,962 on March 14 to 3,352 on August 17, which is a rise of only 13%. I would say we have some evidence that the most extreme shortages of rental homes are now in the past, based on admittedly limited ARMLS data.
I have heard several credible rumors that institutional owners may be planning to lighten their portfolios over the coming 2 years. If so, this would be sweet relief for the purchase market. We could certainly do with (say) 10,000 additional affordable homes coming back onto the market. However if those 10,000 homes are currently occupied by tenants, we still have a problem of where those tenants are going to live.