Lettings News

Large drop in stock levels key drivers for property sales and rental market

Em Morley - January 20, 2020

Home.co.uk’s latest research highlights the impact that ultra-low stock levels have had on property sales and lettings.

Lettings headlines                                                      

  • The supply of newly available rental property has fallen across the UK (down 15% year on year)
  • The London lettings markets are worst hit by this alarming development (supply down 21% year on year) and rents are rocketing with twelve of the thirty-three boroughs showing annualised hikes above 10%.

It’s not looking great in England and Wales, with the total stock of property sales down by 9.7% since the previous year. However, London has been hit even harder, with this property drought leading to a 23% drop compared to a year ago.

This pattern continues for lettings in the UK, as there was 15% less stock entering the market in 2019. London is again suffering the most, with the supply of newly available rental properties down by 21%.

This is thought to be the reason why rents are already rocketing in the capital. Home.co.uk points out: “This accelerating trend in the monthly cost of property to let is a direct result of a three-year decline in the available rental stock, during which time the overall stock level for Greater London has plummeted 51%.

“While demand for the few rental properties currently available is inflating rents across much of Greater London, our research also shows that rent hikes are beginning to accelerate in the South East (now up 7.8% year on year). 

“We expect this trend to continue throughout 2020 and house prices to begin to follow suit in the region later in the year. Overall, UK rents are up even more (8.0% year on year) but this figure is inflated disproportionally by the Greater London mix-adjusted average of 12.1%.”

The property portal expects the reduced political uncertainty and talk of a possible rate cut by the Bank of England to bolster buyer confidence going forward, increasing demand throughout 2020.