Demand for private rental housing is at an all-time high according to new research being published by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).
A survey of private landlords across England and Wales, conducted in partnership with the research consultancy BVA/BDRC, found that 57% confirmed demand for private rental homes had increased in the third quarter of 2021. This is up from 39% in the second quarter of the year.
At the onset of the first COVID lockdown in the second quarter of 2020, just 14% of landlords reported an increase in tenant demand.
In a sign of recovery in the market, landlords operating in London have seen a significant uptick in demand compared to the levels reported throughout the pandemic as workers returned to the capital.
68% of landlords operating in outer London reported an increase in demand, up from 25% in the third quarter of 2020. In central London, 54% reported increased demand, up from 16% at the same time last year.
Elsewhere, landlords operating in the South West reported the strongest demand with 79% saying that demand had increased in the third quarter of the year. This was followed by 74% in the South East (excluding London), 73% in Wales and 71% in the West Midlands.
Despite the booming demand, the same proportion of landlords plan to reduce the number of properties they rent out as planned to increase them at 19%.
It comes as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has warned of rents increasing due to the “mismatch between supply and demand.”
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, comments: “As demand picks up following lockdown measures, we need a stimulus to support responsible landlords to provide the homes to rent we vitally need. Without this, it will ultimately be tenants that suffer as a result of less choice, higher rents and the resulting difficulties they will encounter when looking to become homeowners.”