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UK Rental Market: Rents Continue to Rise as Demand Remains High

Strong demand paired with a low inventory of rental properties has caused rental values to spike – and shows no signs of slowing.

Faye deGavre

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Apr 19, 2021

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2 min read

UK Rental Market: Rents Continue to Rise as Demand Remains High

Despite challenges caused by the pandemic, the rental market continues to perform strongly. Rents across most of the UK remain high as the rising demand from prospective tenants puts upward pressure on values. The demand for property has increased in recent months, though the number of homes coming onto the market remains low.

Increased demand

According to a new report from ARLA Propertymark, tenant demand remained high in February, with the average number of prospective tenants registered per letting branch rising to 82 (up from 81 recorded in January). While this figure remains the same as February 2020, it is a stark leap from February 2019 when it was a mere 65. 

Regionally, the West Midlands saw the highest number of new tenants registered per branch with an average of 126. The East Midlands followed closely behind with 123. 

Supply of rental property

The solid rental growth has been, in part, fuelled by a lack of stock. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 300,000 fewer rental properties have come onto the market. This equates to almost a third fewer than the 12 months prior. 

The low supply of rental homes has meant that landlords can afford to be pickier about their tenants – and their rental prices. Would-be tenants now face significantly fewer options, which has pushed up monthly rent prices. And with more tenant interest, void periods are also falling. 

Rents rising

According to HomeLet, the average monthly rent is now £984, up by 3% from 2020. When London is excluded, the average rent in the UK is now £840, which is up by 6.2% from last year. 

For Londoners, the average monthly rent in the capital is £1,572, which is 87.1% higher than the rest of the UK.

Andy Halstead, Chief Executive at HomeLet, commented:

“The situation with COVID is only making this trend much more pronounced. We have high demand areas where stock levels have remained flat or even declined because tenants want to rent for longer and fewer landlords are investing in property.”

Market in flux

While rental prices will vary depending on the property’s region, location, features and condition, landlords can use this time to find committed tenants looking for long-term rentals.

Faye deGavre

Content Writer