Friday, February 11, 2011
UK private rental properties are being let within 15 days on average - 5 days quicker than a year ago, report Countrywide, the UK's largest letting agent and property services Group. 
The latest findings from Countrywide's quarterly branch survey reveals that there are an average of 4.4 tenants vying for each property across the UK; with the South West generating the greatest demand with an average of 5.9 tenants. 
In Q4 2010 the number of new tenants registering for rental accommodation increased by 14 percent compared to the same period in 2009. Overall, the total number of new tenants registering for rental accommodation exceeded 200,000 last year - a record high ; with new tenant registrations increasing by 37 percent, which peaked between July and September 2010.
Agents throughout the UK reported a significant lack of property supply with the average number of properties available to let falling by 29 percent .
Leading high street names took part in the survey, such as Bairstow Eves, Mann Countrywide, Taylors, Bridgfords, Abbotts, Gascoigne Pees, Slater Hogg & Howison, Entwistle Green and Fulfords, which confirmed that two bedroom houses remained the most sought after property type in the final quarter of the year. (N.B. Regional highlights overleaf)
The findings of the survey also revealed that the proportion of three and four bedroom properties entering the rental market has steadily grown across the UK - increasing by 3 percent over the last quarter and 2 percent compared to Q4 2009.
John Hards, Co-Managing Director of Countrywide Residential Lettings said;
"The rental market has seen record levels of demand in 2010. In the final quarter, whilst we experienced the traditional slowdown, the continuing demand is seeing many properties in prime locations having new tenants secured within hours of coming onto the market.
"We are seeing a change in the demographic of tenants with a growing number of professional tenants emerging across the country, as affordability issues facing homebuyers that are unable to sell or raise the capital to buy their next home.
"These wider economic issues are reflected in our rental stock, with a growing number of 3 and 4 bedroom family homes entering the market but the greatest demand is for 2 bedroom apartments and houses which are still in short supply."
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