UK rental market heats up after winter lull

UK rental market heats up after winter lull

0:02 AM, 9th April 2024, About 4 months ago

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The UK’s private rented sector (PRS) is seeing a surge in tenant demand, with a new report revealing a significant increase across most counties in England. 

Zero Deposit analysed rental data and found tenant demand rose by 1.5% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the previous quarter.

This means nearly a third (31.8%) of all rental properties advertised have already been rented out.

The increase follows a period of sluggish demand in the final quarter of 2023, with only a few counties seeing any growth.

‘Rental market certainly seems to be back open’

The firm’s chief executive, Sam Reynolds, said: “Following the seasonal slowdown seen in Q4 of last year, the rental market certainly seems to be back open for business, with tenant demand climbing across the vast majority of counties during the first three months of this year.

“In fact, in no less than 34 counties, between a third and over a half of all rental properties listed to rent have already been snapped up by tenants, which demonstrates the imbalance between the need for rental homes and the stock available to tenants.”

He adds: “We anticipate that as we now enter into the busiest time of year for the housing market, tenant demand will continue to climb and this will put further strain on the level of stock available, with this supply-demand imbalance only pushing rents higher.”

First three months of 2024 have seen tenant demand take off

The data shows that the first three months of 2024 have seen tenant demand take off with 34 counties experiencing a rise in renter interest.

The biggest jump in demand is on the Isle of Wight, where it rocketed by 14.8% compared to the previous quarter.

Cornwall (+14.3%), Northumberland (+11.9%), Dorset (+10.6%) and West Sussex (+7.9%) also saw significant increases.

However, a handful of areas saw demand fall including Tyne and Wear with the biggest drop of 7%, followed by North Yorkshire (-6.1%), City of London (-4.3%), Merseyside (-3.2%) and Nottinghamshire (-2%).

Zero Deposit says that strong demand has created a ‘hotspot’ effect in some areas, led by West Sussex, the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and Dorset where more than half of all available properties are already rented.

The City of London sits at the opposite end of the spectrum, with the lowest demand in the country – just 15.6% of rental listings there have found tenants.

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