Demand remains strong in rental market
New research reveals that renters face struggle to find homes as supply dries up
Demand for private rented housing remained strong at the end of 2021, according to new data released today by the National Residential Landlords Association.
A survey of private landlords across England and Wales, conducted in partnership with the research consultancy BVA/BDRC, found that 56 per cent reported a rise in demand for privately rented homes in Q4 2021. This was almost identical to the 57 per cent who saw the same trend in the third quarter of 2021.
Regionally, demand was highest in the South West, with 77 per cent of landlords confirming that demand increased in the final quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, in a sign of post-COVID recovery in the London market, 74 per cent of Central London landlords saw increased demand. 54 per cent of landlords in this region witnessed a similar trend in Q3 2021.
Despite strong demand, across the country the proportion of landlords planning to reduce the number of properties they let (24 per cent) out strips the proportion plans to purchase homes to let (14 per cent).
This research comes just days after the economic consultancy Capital Economics warned that, without urgent action, the supply of homes for private rent could fall by over half a million over the next ten years.
Capital Economics found that if owner occupation and social housing continue at their ten-year average rate of growth, private rented sector supply would have to increase by 227,000 per year to hit government targets. It also noted that “even if the other [housing] tenures doubled their rate of growth, 105,000 homes for private rental would be needed each year, which is well above current rates of growth.”
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association said:
“The rental housing supply crisis is only set to worsen, as renters continue to feel the effects of a market starved of a healthy supply of homes for private rent.
“The Government needs to accept that for all the rhetoric about homeownership, many people need to rent beforehand. Policies that dampen investment in the private rented sector serve only to reduce choice, drive up rents and, as a result, make homeownership more difficult to achieve.”