Rightmove Unveils a Threefold Surge in Rental Property Enquiries Since 2019

2 mins
January 18, 2024

Letting agents across Great Britain are currently grappling with an unprecedented surge in demand, managing an average of 25 email and phone enquiries for each property available for rent. This figure, as reported by Rightmove, is more than triple the amount recorded in 2019, and it represents a notable increase of five from the last reported figure in May.

Increased Tenant Demand Amidst Declining Rental Stock

The data reveals a significant gap between the soaring demand from prospective tenants and a severe shortage of available rental properties. Unique tenant inquiries looking to move across Great Britain have surged by 41% since 2019, while the number of properties available for rent has decreased by 35%.

Ria Laitmer, Lettings Manager at Clarkes in Dorset, emphasises the current market's imbalance, stating, "The gap between high demand and a severe shortage of rental stock at the moment is just crazy."

Debbie Marsden, Director at Marsdens Lettings in Wiltshire, echoes this sentiment, noting the market's frenetic pace and the added challenge of keeping up with compliance requirements due to rapidly changing legislation.

Signs of Improvement in the UK Rental Market and for Buy-to-Let Investors

Despite the ongoing demand-supply imbalance, there are encouraging signs of improvement in the long-lasting rental market scenario. While demand remains significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, it has eased by 17% compared to the previous year.

The total number of available rental properties has increased by 14% compared to 2022, with a noteworthy 7% surge in new properties entering the market since last year, marking the most substantial annual increase since November 2022.

Rental Market Records: Rents Hit 15th Consecutive High

Simultaneously, the average advertised rent for new properties has reached a national record of £1,278 per calendar month outside London. This marks the 15th consecutive quarter of rising rents, with average rents now standing 10% higher than the previous year.

In London, the average advertised rent has also soared to a new record of £2,627 per calendar month, reflecting a 12.1% increase from the previous year.

Tim Bannister concludes with cautious optimism, stating, "While it will still feel challenging for many tenants, signs of easing pressure between supply and demand are emerging, with the number of new rental properties hitting its highest level since the end of last year. If this trend continues, we may see a slowing pace of yearly rent rises."

Curious about investing in UK rental property to take advantage of the current supply and demand? Discover how Regency Invest can assist you by clicking here.

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