Demand for private rental housing is at a record high, fresh research shows.
A survey of private landlords across England and Wales, conducted on behalf of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) by BVA/BDRC, found that 57% confirmed that demand for homes to rent had increased in the third quarter of 2021 – up from 39% in the second quarter of the year.
At the onset of the first Covid lockdown in the second quarter of 2020 just 14% of landlords reported tenant demand having increased.
In a sign of recovery in the market, landlords operating in London have seen a significant uptick in demand compared to the levels reported throughout the pandemic as workers returned to the capital.
Some 68% of landlords operating in outer London reported demand having increased, up from 25% in the third quarter of 2020.
In central London, over half – 54% – reported increased demand, up from 16% at the same time last year.
Elsewhere, landlords operating in the South West reported the strongest demand with 79% saying that demand had increased in the third quarter of the year. This was followed by 74% in the South East (excluding London), 73% in Wales and 71% in the West Midlands.
Despite the booming demand, the same proportion of landlords plan to reduce the number of properties they rent out as plan to increase them at 19%, according to the study.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said: “As demand picks up following lockdown measures we need a stimulus to support responsible landlords to provide the homes to rent we vitally need. Without this it will ultimately be tenants that suffer as a result of less choice, higher rents and the resulting difficulties they will encounter when looking to become homeowners.”