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The number of rental properties reaching the market has increased 5 per cent on average since the government announced the restart of the housing market last week but not all areas have fared the same, according to property management platform Howsy.

The platform analysed the number of available rental properties listed on Rightmove and Zoopla on May 13, when renters and buyers in England could resume moving home.

It found a 5 per cent growth on average in the number of properties available to tenants across 23 major UK cities, when compared to the number of properties listed on April 1.

While the increase was prominent in seven cities, including Edinburgh, Oxford and London, other places saw stocks decline.

The largest rise, based on the number of properties, was in London where an extra 6,838 rental properties were listed by May 13, rising 15 per cent from April 1.

Meanwhile, the largest percentage change was in Edinburgh, despite the property market in Scotland remaining effectively closed.

Callum Brannan, founder and CEO of Howsy, said: “Many in the rental sector will be breathing a sigh of relief with such immediate green shoots of market activity returning to a number of cities following an ease in lockdown market restrictions.

“Of course, other pockets of the market will take longer to see this positive trend emerge as agents and landlords find their feet operationally.”

Kat Tymon, director at Mansfield Money, said the buy-to-let mortgage market was also bouncing back during the coronavirus due to LTV requirements being lower than for residential mortgages.

She said: “Lenders have quickly re-entered this market to make the most of the opportunities out there.

“Demand for renting will still be high as people who previously wished to buy may no longer be able to do so due to lower income or lack of savings due to Covid-19.”

Separately, research by rental deposit replacement scheme Ome found the buy-to-let market declined 1 per cent every year in the past five years.

The latest data from UK Finance found a total of 640 buy-to-let mortgaged properties were repossessed in Q1 2020, marking an 8 per cent rise on the same quarter last year.

Earlier this month Citizens Advice warned that 2.6m private renters were at risk of eviction and possible homelessness when the government’s stay on evictions of residential tenants is expected to end on June 25.

By Chloe Cheung

Source: FT Adviser

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