There has been a decrease in the number of renters searching for new homes for the second consecutive month. However, rents have increased.

According to Propertymark, the number of potential tenants who registered with an average branch of an estate agent fell from 83 to 71 last September to 71 this October.

After the summer, landlords said that there was a drop in the number of prospective tenants who registered at each branch.

On the decline: The average number of new prospective tenants registered per letting agent branch by 12 between September and October according to Propertymark

Propertymark: On the decline

According to the National Landlords Association, 57% of landlords reported an increase in demand for rental properties between July and September.

However, there is a slight decline in rental property demand, which means that landlords tend to be more cautious about raising their rents. 

Propertymark reported that tenants saw rent rises in October. This was compared with 75% in September.

This represented the lowest reported rent hikes since June (where rent roses averaged 60%). 

However, despite declining demand and decreases in rent rises, tenants may find it difficult to find a place to live. Because the housing supply is decreasing, this makes it difficult for tenants to find a home. 

The average agent listed 196 rental properties in the past year. This is a drop of 213 from the previous year. 

Chestertons head of lettings Richard Davies stated that: “The number of inquiries for lettings continues to be strong in comparison to previous years. We are still receiving many offers on properties while there is a very low level of available homes for rent.

“Normally, as we approach the end of the calendar year, we see a seasonal slowdown. 

“However, the year 2021 was a very busy one driven by tenants who put off their search for a home during the peak of the pandemic but are eager to relocate.

North West is the hottest market for renting a home 

Propertymark reported that in October 163, the North West registered the greatest number of tenants per branch. 

Demand was lower in Yorkshire, Humberside and Wales, where 26 prospective tenants were registered on average per branch.

North East renters could find it easier to rent a home, as estate agents have lots of homes on the market - but those in the North West face stiff competition from other tenants

North East tenants may find renting a house easier, since estate agents are able to list many homes for rent. However, North West renters face fierce competition from other tenants.

The North East may be more difficult for tenants to buy a property because its estate agents have the most homes at their disposal, with 350.

London’s lowest level of rental stock had an average number of only 69 properties in each branch.

Nathan Emerson,  chief executive at Propertymark said: ‘The private rental sector remains under pressure. The demand is down for the second month in a row, and tenants are experiencing lower rents.

“There are clearly issues regarding the availability of property, with certain regions such as London having a very limited supply of rental stock.

City centres are a popular destination for renters  

Although landlords may be less inclined to increase their rents, Rightmove separate research suggests they are still increasing in the city centre.

This follows a dip in rents during the initial pandemic exodus, when many renters fled urban areas in search of space and better value.

Rightmove reports that the boomeranging of tenants is now causing rent hikes in major UK cities.

Rightmove says that the rents of Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow all rose between 2010 and the current pandemic.

In Manchester, Leeds, and York, the rents in their cities centre have seen a recovery to prices which are higher than they were in February 2020.

A number of city centers have seen prices rebound, with tenants boomeranging back

Many city centres have experienced a rebound in prices, and tenants are returning to their former glory.

London is also showing some recovery, with rents in inner cities rising by 5.6 percent between July-September this year and a little less by 6 percentage points by February 2020, according to Rightmove data. 

Davies stated that all London landlords who let properties between March 2020 and June 2021 suffered a significant loss in rental income.

The influx of properties for letting from spring 2020 led to landlords decreasing rents, some as high as 30%.

“But we now face the reverse situation. London’s demand is outstripping the supply and landlords are able to raise their rents accordingly, with some renting levels exceeding 2019.

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