Lettings News

Pandemic continues to drive rental trend for houses, but flats remain popular in some cities

Em Morley - October 20, 2020

Lettings management platform Howsy has undertaken research that confirms houses are currently in higher demand than flats or apartments by tenants.

It looked at rental property data across 22 major cities in the UK. The analysis shows that demand for houses is currently at 29%, while demand for flats and apartments averages 26%.

Looking at the areas with the highest demand for houses, Belfast came top at 69%. Howsy points out this trend for more spacious accommodation is still being led by the current pandemic. 

However, there are some cities where flats and apartments are the more popular option. Manchester is currently home to the highest demand for flats and apartments at 57%.

Calum Brannan, Founder and CEO of Howsy, commented: “There’s no denying that the current pandemic has caused a shift in tenant demand trends as many have looked for more space in the wake of initial lockdown restrictions. 

“However, this trend hasn’t quite swept the nation completely and demand for flats and apartments remains robust in a number of major cities. 

“As we slowly return to normality, we should see flats and apartments continue to increase in demand as our major cities reopen their doors both professionally and socially.  

“This will be welcome news for landlords who have seen demand for flats fall and have had to slash rental prices to secure a tenant.”

Table shows tenant demand for houses, flats and overall across 23 major UK cities split by property preference and sorted by the highest demand to lowest.
CityTenant Demand for HousesTenant Demand for Flats Overall Tenant Demand
Manchester44%57%Flat24%
Liverpool52%53%Flat25%
Birmingham37%42%Flat22%
Nottingham20%35%Flat32%
Leeds28%33%Flat11%
Southampton27%32%Flat27%
Bournemouth21%30%Flat42%
Plymouth19%26%Flat33%
Bristol19%25%Flat56%
Swansea21%21%Flat28%
Newport10%15%Flat51%
Belfast69%0%House41%
Glasgow59%41%House42%
Portsmouth49%36%House41%
Sheffield30%20%House24%
Cardiff27%23%House26%
Oxford27%23%House27%
Newcastle26%20%House21%
Cambridge24%23%House26%
London23%19%House20%
Leicester21%19%House21%
Edinburgh14%8%House8%
Aberdeen10%5%House5%
Overall29%26%House28%
Data sourced from Rightmove and Zoopla. Demand is based on the proportion of homes already let as a percentage of total rental properties listed. E.g. if 100 rental properties are listed and 50 are already let agreed, demand is at 50%.