Tenant demand hits all-time high as number of renters grows

Thu 16 Jul 2015

The level of demand from tenants for rental properties is now at its highest point since records began.

New figures from Rightmove show there was a 52 per cent increase in email enquiries over the last year, with the east of England witnessing the sharpest upturn in activity of any region.

And a separate new study by accountancy firm PwC concludes more than half of young people (those aged under-40) will be renting from a private landlord by 2025, so the trend shows no sign of slowing down.

Approximately 7.2 million households are set to be renting a home in ten years’ time, and the overall proportion of Britons who own their home is likely to fall from 70 per cent in the mid-2000s to 60 per cent in 2025.

With tenant demand clearly rising, it will come as no surprise to find out rents have increased in recent months. In the south-east, rental values are now 4.1 per cent higher than they were 12 months ago, while there has been a three per cent increase in the south-west and a two per cent hike in London.

Rightmove believes the major factor behind rent increases in southern England is the fact many people have searched for property to rent outside London in order to enjoy greater value for money, pushing prices up in surrounding areas as a result.

However, rents in the capital are still almost twice as much as anywhere else, with the average monthly price sitting at £2,052, ahead of £1,078 in the south-east.

Demand is also being fuelled by a growing trend for tenants to remain in their properties for longer, meaning quality homes that become available are frequently snapped up in just a few days.

Indeed, Rightmove’s lettings director Sam Mitchell explained it is now common for enquiries to be sent to agents within a few minutes of properties being listed online in the fastest-moving areas.

High demand and the subsequent rise in prices makes it a good time for landlords to invest in additional properties, safe in the knowledge they could benefit from a number of applications from high-quality tenants and experience only minimal void periods.

For more information on buy-to-let, becoming a landlord or expanding your buy-to-let portfolio, please contact your local Leaders branch.