Rents are set to rise by up to 15% over the next two years, reflecting both a shortage of supply and rising demand from buyers struggling to get on to the housing ladder, according to a report commissioned by the letting industry’s trade body.

The report, carried out by Reading university’s Professor Michael Ball for the Association of Residential Letting Agents, estimates that the value of assets in the private rented sector has reached £500bn, which it says outstrips the total of all privately owned commercial property.

Rental growth will continue significantly in the short term, it says, which will be some comfort to buy-to-let landlords facing a rapid decline in the capital values of their properties as the house price slowdown continues across the country.

The report predicts that the value of housing in the UK will “almost certainly” increase over the longer term, however, and faster than commercial real estate, owing to static housing supply and rising living standards.

Financial Times