Rental Demand Soars to Record Levels


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Are you looking for a property to rent?  Or, are you a landlord searching for tenants?
The summer is not the traditional time of year for rental demand to increase.  However, the UK’s largest lettings agent has this week reported that the number of tenants searching for rental property has risen to a record level.
Record demand
Over 50,000 people registered with Countrywide during the second quarter of 2010.  This is the highest figure ever recorded since the company started monitoring the data, was back in 2003.  Not only are more people looking for rental accommodation, but the number of properties available to rent has also fallen.

June was a record month, with over 18,000 new tenants registering with the company – a 22 per cent increase over May’s figures.  However, the number of landlords looking to rent out property fell by 6 percent during the three months to June.  This means that there are now 5.5 tenants for every available property, up from 4.9 tenants in early 2010.

John Hards, co-managing director of Countrywide Residential Lettings, told The Daily Telegraph: “The number of tenants entering the market is at unprecedented levels, and we have yet to enter the peak season.  Student demand for private rental accommodation will increase further with university applications at record levels.”

The problems is worst in the South West, with an average of over 23 potential tenants looking to rent each 2 bedroom property that comes to the market.

Rents staying steady
Whilst the demand for rental property may be at an all time high, there has not been a significant rise in rents, which is good news for tenants.  Countrywide reports that there has only been a ‘marginal’ increase in the level of rents across the UK.

Mr Hinds continued, “The buy-to-let sector remains a good source of investment, however, the Government needs to do more to incentivise new landlords in order to appease the current shortage of properties.  If tenant levels continue to rise at the same rate, this will be further exacerbated.”

 

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