Lettings News

Revealed: The most in-demand areas to rent a property in the UK

Andrew Truglia - January 21, 2020

The most in-demand cities to rent a property have been revealed in new figures, and there are some surprising results.

Rental management platform, Howsy released the figures, based on 23 major cities, plus each borough of London. They worked out the demand for each are by looking at the proportion of already let rental properties as a percentage of the total listings found online.

The method may not be totally accurate, and doesn’t account for the time taken between a property being let and the listing to be taken down, but it definitely gives a good indicator of where is the most in demand.

Out ahead, with the highest demand for rental property, are the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Sutton and Lewisham, all with 38% of rental stock listed already being snapped up.

After those, is the highest demand in an individual city; Newport. They found that 35% of all rental homes on major portals already being let.

Closely following behind are Bristol (34%), Nottingham (33%), Cambridge (33%) and the London boroughs of Merton (32%), and Croydon (31%). 

When the London boroughs are taken out of the running, the top 10 looks like this: 

LocationRental demand
Newport35%
Bristol34%
Nottingham33%
Cambridge33%
Belfast25%
Plymouth23%
Portsmouth23%
Bournemouth23%
Leicester18%
Manchester18%

At the other end of the spectrum, Aberdeen ranks as the city with the lowest demand for rental property, with just 5% of listed rentals having already been let. 

After that, it would appear that the high financial barrier of renting in London is a deciding factor in low demand, with Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster both only having a score of 7%. 

Calum Brannan, founder and CEO of Howsy, said: “The buy-to-let sector may have had a rough ride of late but the UK rental market is still heavily relied upon by many in order to put a roof over their head and as a result, many cities still provide a great opportunity for buy-to-let investors due to the lower levels of available stock and consistently high tenant demand.  

“When looking to invest, this combination of high demand, an affordable initial cost and a good rental yield should all be considered in order to maximise a return. For those that do their research and tick these boxes, bricks and mortar remains a very sound investment despite attempts to dampen the financial return via stamp duty hikes and changes to tax relief.

“Hopefully, a newly refreshed Government will realise that the buy-to-let landlord is the backbone of the UK rental market and we need to encourage investment into the sector rather than deter it.”

UK Cities – Top 10 Lowest Demand

LocationRental demand
Aberdeen5%
Swansea8%
Leeds9%
Edinburgh10%
Birmingham14%
Cardiff14%
Newcastle14%
Liverpool15%
Sheffield16%
Southampton16%

London Boroughs – Top 10 Highest Demand

LocationRental demand
Bexley38%
Bromley38%
Sutton38%
Lewisham38%
Merton32%
Croydon31%
Greenwich30%
Haringey29%
Enfield29%
Kingston-Upon-Thames27%

London Boroughs – Top 10 Lowest Demand

LocationRental demand
Kensington & Chelsea7%
Westminster7%
Camden11%
City of London12%
Hammersmith & Fulham13%
Ealing14%
Brent15%
Tower Hamlets19%
Barnet19%
Richmond-Upon-Thames20%