Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Countrywide's rental market report - Quarter three 2010
Tenant demand reached new heights in quarter three (Q3) 2010 with over 61,000 new tenants registering for rental accommodation - a 19 percent increase compared to the previous quarter ; according to Countrywide, the UK's largest letting agent and property services Group.
According to the latest figures from Countrywide's network of 1,300 letting and estate agency branches, the number of tenants looking for rental accommodation has jumped by 44 percent during 2010  with July seeing over 20,000 applications - the highest number for a single month since records began .
A combination of record demand and supply issues have caused the total number of properties available to rent in the UK to fall by 6.9 percent in Q3 2010 compared to Q2 2010 - a 27 percent fall on the total number of properties available to rent in Q3 2009. 
There is now an average of 5.8 tenants vying for each property across the UK - up from 5.5 in Q2 2010. Whilst apartments made up the greatest percent of stock on agents books, two bedroom houses continue to be most popular with an average of 10.2 tenants vying for each property. In contrast to Q2 2010 when houses were the most sought after property type, demand for one and two bedroom apartments have jumped sharply, most notably in London and the North West.
The latest findings also reveal that properties are being rented out within 13 days of entering the market  - a reduction of one day compared to Q2 2010 and 7 days quicker than at the start of the year, with many properties let within hours of coming onto the market.
Couples under 35 made up the highest percentage of new tenant applications in Q3 2010. However the demographic of tenants remained broadly similar to Q2 2010 levels despite the seasonal influx of student tenants experienced during the summer months. (See Appendix 1)
John Hards, Co-Managing Director of Countrywide Residential Lettings said;
"Record levels of demand are seeing the number of available properties reaching critical levels with many properties having lets agreed before the previous tenants' contract has ended.
"Our findings prove that new tenant applications have increased dramatically and existing tenants are choosing to rent for considerably longer periods of time, which is impacting on the amount of properties available to rent. With demand at an all time high, now is exactly the right time for private home owners to consider renting their property if they are unable to sell but still want to move.
"The private rental sector is the only viable option for a growing number of people and this issue will only intensify, especially in the wake of the government's cuts to the social housing budget.
"The government must do more to incentivise cash investors and help private landlords in need of buy-to-let mortgage funding as rental supply is a growing national concern."
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