Demand for rental homes now sits at 37.6% for the first quarter of the year, having climbed +10.4% since the final quarter of last year, according to the newly released data from Barrows and Forrester.
The estate and lettings agent found that as we edge out of lockdown, the rental market across the UK’s major cities has started to pick up.
According to the figures, Birmingham has seen the biggest increase in rental demand in 2021 with a +25.2% uplift in demand for rental homes and 46.7% of all properties on the market being snapped up by tenants.
Bournemouth has also seen a considerable increase, up +23.3% between Q1 of this year and the final quarter of 2020. Cardiff (+18.6%), Southampton (+16.8%) and Newport (+16.4%) also rank within the top five largest increases in rental demand.
Just Liverpool and Belfast have seen rental demand drop during the first quarter of this year, down -2.3% and -15.8% respectively
Hottest rental markets
In terms of the cities with the highest levels of current rental demand, Bournemouth sits top with 74.6% of all rental homes already let.
Rental homes in Newport are also in high demand at 74.2%, with Bristol (59.7%), Nottingham (52%) and London (48.3%) also scoring high.
Within the capital, Enfield (+25.6%), Waltham Forest (+20.9%), Haringey and Sutton (+20.3%) have seen the largest increase in rental demand of all boroughs, while Sutton (76%), Enfield (72.9%) and Bromley (70.9%) are home to the highest levels of current demand.
James Forrester, Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, commented: “It’s been a very tough year for landlords and many have seen their rental income reduce due to tenants falling on tough financial times, while others have struggled to find a tenant in the first place.
"As a result, early signs of rental demand returning to the market will be very welcome indeed and, as we ease out of lockdown, this is a trend we will hopefully see increase throughout the remainder of the year.
"The green light for some university students to return and the fast-approaching start of a new academic year should further boost this initial increase in demand and so things are certainly starting to look up for the UK rental sector.”