The current rental demand hotspots

The private rented sector continues to demonstrate its importance and value for the UK population when it comes to delivering good quality housing and in meeting rising levels of tenant demand.

This growing demand was evident in research from Barrows and Forrester which monitors rental listings across the nation, taking an average demand score for each English county based on the number of properties already let as a percentage of all rental listings, highlighting where demand for rental homes is at its highest.

The data showed that, following strong quarterly growth of 7% between Q2 and Q3 of this year, rental demand across England is currently sitting at 46%, with some areas seeing demand up by as much as 15%.

In terms of the strongest rental markets at present, Bristol, West Sussex and Bedfordshire ranked top. Across the City of Bristol, 66% of all rental homes listed have already been taken by tenants, with this demand also up 6% on the previous quarter. In West Sussex, demand is 61% despite a -5% quarterly decline while in Bedfordshire demand sits at 57% having increased by 6%.

Other areas where demand for rental homes is hot at present include Hertfordshire, East Sussex, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk (56%), while in Bath & North East Somerset, Rutland and Dorset over half of all rental homes have already been let (55%).

In terms of quarterly performance, nowhere has seen demand increase more than the City of London where it’s grown by 15%, suggesting the rental market decline caused by pandemic restrictions within the workplace is well and truly in reverse.

It’s always helpful for landlords to keep track of such trends where possible, especially for those who may be looking to add to their portfolios in areas where demand is likely to escalate as many first-time buyers face fresh challenges in an uncertain economic landscape.

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