16:31 PM, 8th November 2011, About 10 years ago
Tenants are snapping up buy to let homes within hours in some areas – although the average is 12.7 days, according to letting agent Countrywide.
Although homes are disappearing fast, the national agent reckons more homes are coming to the market to maintain supply.
The firm has released figures for the three months ending September 30 which show around an average 5.4 tenants chase every home for rent in the South East, while the number rises to 7.3 in the West Midlands.
Countrywide has collated buy to let instructions across the 1,300 letting agents the company runs in the UK and found new letting instructions were up 9.2% in the quarter.
The number of first time landlords is also increasing – up to 23.5% from 18.7% in the first quarter of the year.
John Hards, co-managing director at Countrywide Residential Lettings, said: “Tenants now understand that properties aren’t staying on the market for long, and many are setting up email alerts and SMS alerts with our branches to know instantly when a suitable property becomes available so they can arrange viewings.
“Our findings show that couples under 35-years-old remain the largest proportion of tenants, so the demand for one- and two-bedroom properties remains very high, with most available properties snapped up extremely quickly.”
Countrywide also revealed tenant demand was up 10% compared with the same quarter last year.
Margaret Longden, co-managing director at Countrywide Residential Lettings, said: “We expect tenant demand to continue over the coming months, not only because many first-time buyers are struggling to save the substantial deposits currently required to purchase property, but also because a lot of people now see renting as a realistic alternative to home ownership, whether it be because they are awaiting further house price falls or because they are attracted to the flexibility that renting can offer.”
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