Low stock continues to drive up landlord returns across whole of UK

Warren Lewis
31st March 2020
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The latest data and analysis from has revealed that landlords across the UK are experiencing substantial rental yields as scarcity of properties on the market continues to push up rents.

According to the figures, the lettings market has 15% less stock than a year ago with the lack of available homes for renters particularly pronounced in the capital - down 21%. This is part of a three-year decline in the capital's rental stock of 51%.

The scarcity of homes has seen the average rent for a two-bedroomed property rise between March 2019 and March 2020 in all regions except East Anglia, where it has remained the same at £850.

In Greater London, the typical monthly rent (median) of a two-bedroomed property in the six months to March 2019 compared to the six months to March 2020 rose from £1,695 to £1,755. Over the same time frame and property type, rents increased in the South East from £950 to £975; in the East Midlands, Scotland and Wales from £600 to £625; from £485 to £495 in the North East; from £535 to £550 in Northern Ireland; and from £593 to £600 in the North West.

Elsewhere, the increase was £550 to £575 in Yorkshire and Humber; from £650 to £675 in the West Midlands; and from £750 to £775 in the South West.

Year-on-year, landlords in many regions are seeing their rental yields grow or remain high.

While this is welcome news for buy-to-let investors, this growth is also vital for the wider property market as rental yields fundamentally underpin house prices. Areas, where yields are rocketing, are set to see a boost in the value of homes in the sales market, says

From March 2019 to March 2020, the average rental yield rose in five regions: in Yorkshire and Humber from 5.3% to 5.4%; in the South West from 4.6% to 4.7%; in the East Midlands from 5.1% to 5.2%; in the North East from 6.1% to 6.3%; and in Wales from 5.7% to 5.8%.

Yields have remained the same over the last year in the West Midlands at 5.4%.

Meanwhile, rental yields remain high in the following regions despite slight decreases: in Greater London from 5.1% to 5.0%; in Northern Ireland from 6.8% to 6.6%; in the North West from 5.9% to 5.8%; in the South East from 4.6% to 4.5%; in East Anglia from 4.5% to 4.4%; and in Scotland from 6.7% to 6.5%.

Amidst all the current disarray due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we might remember the words of Baron Rothschild, an 18th-century British nobleman. He is credited with saying "Buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own."

He should know. Rothschild made a fortune buying in the panic that followed the Battle of Waterloo against Napoleon.

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