The UK now has the most competitive rental market in living memory, portal Rightmove has claimed.
Its latest rental trends tracker reveals that this competition has pushed up rents outside London by 10.8% over the past 12 months, the first time this figure has ever exceeded 10%, while rents are now 15% higher than just before the pandemic hit.
This is being created by extraordinary tenant demand but an ongoing but significant drop in properties available to rent; tenant demand is up 6% but stock is down 50% compared to a year ago.
The figures for London are an 81% jump in tenant demand and a 47% drop in stock, leading to a new record of £2,193 rent being achieved for each tenancy on average.
Rightmove says the result of this ongoing mismatch between tenant demand and the properties available to rent means that tenants looking for a new place to move to are being faced with the most competitive rental market that the property portal has ever recorded.
Finding a reasonably-priced rental property means many tenants are now considering areas they otherwise would not have considered in suburban areas around cities.
Rightmove cites two examples in Merseyside, Prenton and Birkenhead, where average asking rents are £591 and £551pcm respectively compared to £876pcm on average for nearby Liverpool.
“There are several factors affecting supply and demand,” says Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister.
“On the supply side, we’re hearing from agents and landlords that tenants are signing longer leases, which has prevented some of the stock that would normally come back onto the market from doing so.
“When it comes to demand, we’re still seeing the effects of the pandemic, whereby tenants are balancing what they need from a home and how close they need to live to work with where they can afford.”
Read the rental trends tracker in full.