Private rental properties are being let within 15 days on average – five days quicker than a year ago, according to Countrywide, the country’s largest letting agency chain. It says there are an average of 4.4 tenants vying for each property across the UK, with the South-West generating the greatest demand with an average of 5.9 tenants.
In the last quarter of 2010, Countrywide said the number of new tenants registering for rental accommodation increased by 14% compared to the same period in 2009.
Overall, the total number of new tenants registering for rental accommodation exceeded 200,000 last year – a record high with new tenant registrations increasing by 37%, which peaked between July and September 2010.
Agents throughout the UK reported a significant lack of property supply, with the average number of properties available to let per branch falling by 29%.
So we have a classic situation of demand exceeding supply. However, the problem is, many landlords would like to satisfy the demand but are unable to do so due to the lack of mortgage finance available. At the moment, all our rental properties are fully let and we have a waiting list of tenants. Many people believe that the PRS will increase significantly over the coming years as more people prefer to rent than buy. So who is going to meet the demand?
We need the banks to be able to access more capital and funding and in turn, pass this on to the professional landlords who want to grow their portfolios.