The UK rental market has seen tremendous growth over the last 20 years, the last year growing by 8.5%. Fuelled by changing attitudes towards rental accommodation, record house prices, and low wage growth, it has been a popular choice for many and the only choice for some.
However, since lockdown, the sector has seen a surge of prospective tenants and disparity between supply and demand has resulted in an overwhelming rise in viewing requests – to the extent that some landlords have decided to pause advertising as they attempt to deal with the backlog.
Online lettings platform lettingaproperty.com, has shared new data highlighting just how competitive the rental property market is right now.
Between Q2 2022 and Q3 2022, the firm reveals that the average number of viewing requests per property rose by over 25%, from 19 to 24. October 2022 saw a further rise, with multiple properties attracting viewing requests in triple digits, and one London landlord receiving 134 viewing requests.
With competition fierce among renters, it’s now taking an average of just four days to let a rental property, according to the latest figures.
Jonathan Daines, Founder and CEO, lettingaproperty.com, said, “We’ve seen a significant increase in property enquiries over recent months, with many landlords receiving more than 50 viewing requests and some receiving more than 100. It’s definitely a landlords’ market, with fierce competition for rental properties leaving many tenants disappointed.”
While competition for properties is challenging for renters, it can also be a problem for landlords, according to the lettingaproperty.com team. Many are facing mortgage rate increases, while the security of rental income is reducing. This is pushing many to opt for lettingaproperty.com’s ‘Essential’ or ‘Complete’ plans, which feature rent protection, as they seek extra assurances in the event that tenants are unable to pay.
The team is also working with landlords and tenants to support communication and negotiation around any proposed increases to rents. Some landlords are being forced to increase rent due to rising mortgage costs, though the business has found that others are doing what they can to avoid this. One landlord, who spoke to the team earlier this week, was pleased to share the news that their fixed-term mortgage meant that they could keep the rent the same, at least for the next 12 months.
Jonathan concluded, “This is a testing time for the rental sector, with both tenants and landlords feeling the strain. Interest rate rises, falling rental stock, and increased competition between tenants are all interconnected. Eyes across the sector will be fixed on the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee on 3rd November, as a further rate rise is likely to ratchet up pressure on the sector.”