Rental demand drops by 5% across all major UK cities

Jessica Bird

April 23, 2020

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Demand for rental properties has dropped by 5% across the UK’s major cities, while stock levels are also down by 12% year-on-year, according to the latest data release from lettings management platform Howsy.

In London, demand has dropped by 3% while stock levels have reduced by 20% when compared with last year’s figures.

All areas of London barring the City have seen a decline in property stock hitting the market, with Barnett (-31%), Croydon (-23%) and Ealing (-19%) being the worst hit.

Belfast (-57%), Cambridge (-36%) and Newport (27%) have seen the largest declines in rental stock levels.

Every UK city has seen a decline in demand, except for Belfast, where the reduction in stock levels has resulted in an increase of demand by 16%.

The City of London has seen rental demand reduce by 10% year-on-year, while Southward and Tower Hamlets are also down by 8%.

Calum Brannan, founder and CEO of Howsy, said: “The spread of the coronavirus has clearly caused an immediate impact on rental demand and stock levels across cities which usually remain sought after amongst tenants.

“For market activity to have fallen so considerably across the board tells you just how much the market has been impacted by the pandemic, but while demand has waned somewhat on an annual basis, it is stock levels that have declined the most, and there are still plenty of tenants looking for rental properties for those landlords still striving to provide them.

“For these landlords, remaining visible on the market despite the wider landscape is the sensible approach to ensure any void periods are as short as possible and any financial loss is as limited as can be.

“This can be done via online and hybrid agents in particular, who can list and rent your property without any physical interaction needed; so not only does your buy-to-let remain profitable, but there is no risk in doing so.”

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