Rental demand and stock levels drop across the vast majority of UK cities due to lockdown

The latest research by lettings management platform, Howsy, has revealed that demand for rental properties and the stock available to meet this demand has fallen year on year across the majority of UK cities and London Boroughs, as the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic and the precautions implemented by the Government prevents many tenants from transacting.

Howsy gauged tenant demand across each city based on rental listings listed across each of the major property portals, looking at the number of homes with a let already agreed as a percentage of total properties listed. Howsy also looked at total listings on the market and how this had changed to see what impact the pandemic has had on the supply side of the market.

See all data tables on rental stock levels and tenant demand here.

Rental Stock

When comparing current levels of rental stock to this time last year, there has been a decline of -12% across the UK’s major cities, while in London this drop is more pronounced with -20% less rental properties now on the market.

Belfast (-57%), Cambridge (-36%) and Newport (-27%) have seen the largest declines, although Nottingham and London also place in the top five. However, Edinburgh, Swansea, Leicester, Sheffield, Leeds, Southampton and Plymouth have all seen more rental homes hit the market.

In London, all areas but the City of London have seen a decline in property stock hitting the market, with Barnet the worst hit with a drop of -31%, followed by Croydon (-23%) and Ealing (-19%).

See all data tables on rental stock here.

Tenant Demand

When comparing tenant demand to this time last year, there has been a drop of -5% across 23 major UK cities and by -3% across London as the Coronavirus pandemic brings an unseasonal market freeze.

Every city in the list has seen a decline, except for Belfast where a huge reduction in stock levels has seen demand actually increase by 16% and Portsmouth and Newcastle where demand remains flat with no annual change, while in London, just eight London boroughs have seen an increase in demand.

The largest declines where the UK’s major cities are concerned has been in Oxford and Plymouth, where demand has dropped -11.3% since last year.

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

See all data tables on tenant demand here.

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