Demand and supply of rental stock at record high

Jake Carter

December 10, 2020

home sales

Housing demand and supply of rental stock have been at a record high throughout 2020, according to NAEA Propertymark and ARLA Propertymark.

Over the course of 2020, the number of prospective buyers was the highest it has been over the past decade with an average of 403 house buyers registered per branch.

This is up from 320 on average throughout 2019 and the previous decade high of 379 in 2015.

Looking back over the past decade, demand for housing is up by 55%, from 260 per branch in 2010.

However, the number of properties available to buy has not changed year-on-year, with an average of 39 available per branch consistently since 2018.

Supply has dropped considerably over the last decade, from 63 on average per branch in 2010.

The number of sales agreed per branch throughout the year hit a decade high of 10 sales on average per month in 2020.

The data also shows that the average proportion of total sales made to first-time buyers decreased from 27% in 2019 to 25% in 2020.

The supply of rental accommodation reached 203 properties managed on average per branch throughout 2020, compared to 2019’s figure of 199.

This is the highest figure on record, with an annual high of 213 in October.

In addition, the number of buy-to-let investors selling their properties remained high, at an average of four per month in 2020.

In both February and September, the figure spiked to five per branch.

The number of tenants experiencing rent hikes has fallen this year to 36%, from an average of 44% in 2019.

Furthermore, agents reported the highest number of prospective tenants searching for homes on record in August, when 101 were recorded per branch, compared to 86 on average across the year.

This yearly average is the highest on record, topping 2019’s previous figure of 69 prospective tenants searching for homes.

Mark Hayward, chief policy advisor at Propertymark, said: “Both the sales and rental markets have remained remarkably resilient throughout this trying year, despite market closure between March and May.

“The prioritisation by the government of a functioning property market and subsequent implementation of the stamp duty holiday as well as measures taken to keep the rent flowing within the private rental sector, have allowed for record breaking levels of house sales and rental accommodation.

“We are confident this boom will continue through the new year but grow increasingly concerned about the impact of the stamp duty cliff edge on 31 March 2021.

“This cliff edge has already increased pressure on service providers within the industry, causing delays for buyers and sellers, and could cause thousands of sales to fall through at the final hurdle as buyers realise their sale will not be completed ahead of the deadline.”

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