Where has the UK's highest rental demand?

New research by property compliance specialists,VeriSmart, looks at where in the UK is home to the highest levels of tenant demand for rental properties.

Related topics:  Landlords
Warren Lewis
1st April 2019
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VeriSmart analysed rental listing data across the major property portals, ranking each of the UK’s 100 largest cities on the proportion of rental stock available to that already let, to ascertain where the most in demand locations are.

Top of the table is Cambridge with 57% tenant demand making it the most sought-after city for rental accommodation.

The London commuter belt and beyond dominates the top 10 with Basingstoke home to the next highest level of tenant demand at 56%. St Albans (53%), Milton Keynes (49%), Crawley (47%) and Tamworth (46%) are all also home to some of the highest rental demand across the UK.

Bristol is the first city outside of a commutable range to London to make the top 10 at 45%, joined by York (43%), Worthing (43%) and Hastings (42%), completing the top 10.

With demand for property in Aberdeen’s sales market taking a hit due to economic conditions, it’s no surprise that the area is also home to the lowest level of rental demand at just 8%. Coventry, Preston and perhaps more surprisingly, Edinburgh, were also amongst some of the lowest.

In London, demand for rental accommodation may be high but in relation to the stock listed and the stock let, the capital ranks just 53rd for tenant demand when compared to the top 100 UK cities.

Inside the capital, high rental prices see many renters looking to the outskirts with the highest levels found in Bromley (41%), Sutton (39%), Bexley (38%), Havering (35%), Richmond (35%) and Waltham Forest (35%).

Lewisham is the only inner borough to make the top ten with demand at 33% along with Enfield, Kingston and Greenwich. Prime central London is home to the capital’s lowest level of tenant demand with Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, the City of London and Camden all ranking the lowest.

Jonathan Senior, founder of VeriSmart, commented: “While London will always remain attractive from a buy-to-let point of view, it’s clear that the current market slowdown and wider economic and political uncertainty has stretched to the rental sector.

It would seem many are still very much sat on the fence ahead of a Brexit solution and although London is home to some of the largest levels of stock, many are choosing to refrain from a commitment until stability returns. This is most prevalent across the prime central market which is understandable given the larger financial commitments, however, the outer stretches of the city remain in good favour with the capital’s tenants for the time being.

With further delays an almost certainty, this market limbo looks set to remain and London will continue to play second fiddle to the surrounding commuter belt and beyond while it does.

It will be interesting to see what impact the tenant fee ban has to the wider market when it arrives, although with the price of homeownership remaining out of reach for many, the UK rental sector should continue to see healthy levels of demand.”

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