Lettings News

Demand and supply for rental stock drops across UK

Em Morley - April 24, 2020

The latest data from lettings management platform Howsy reports a decline in rental stock levels compared to this time last year.

Rental stock has dropped 12% across the UK’s major cities, with London seeing 20% fewer rental properties now on the market.

Belfast, Cambridge and Newport have been hit the hardest, seeing declines of -57%, -36% and -27% respectively. Comparatively, Edinburgh, Swansea, Leicester, Sheffield, Leeds, Southampton and Plymouth have seen an increase in rental homes available on the market.

Meanwhile, demand has dropped by 5% across 23 major UK cities and 3% across London. Belfast is the only city on Howsy’s list that has seen an increase in demand, at 16%. Portsmouth and Newcastle saw no annual change.

Calum Brannan, founder and CEO of Howsy, said: “The spread of the Coronavirus has clearly caused an immediate impact on rental demand and stock levels across cities which usually remain sought after amongst tenants.

“For market activity to have fallen so considerably across the board tells you just how much the market has been impacted by the pandemic, but while demand has waned somewhat on an annual basis, it is stock levels that have declined the most and there are still plenty of tenants looking for rental properties for those landlords still striving to provide them. 

“For these landlords, remaining visible on the market despite the wider landscape is the sensible approach to ensure any void periods are as short as possible and any financial loss is as limited as can be.  

“This can be done via online and hybrid agents in particular, who can list and rent your property without any physical interaction needed; so not only does your buy-to-let remain profitable, but there is no risk in doing so.”