Rental market revival as tenant demand jumps 10% in q1

Research by estate and lettings agent, Barrows and Forrester, has revealed that the rental market across the UK’s major cities has started to pick up as we edge out of lockdown. 

The latest market data from Barrows and Forrester shows that there has been a sharp uplift in tenant demand for rental properties across the UK’s major cities. Demand for rental homes now sits at 37.6% for the first quarter of the year, having climbed +10.4% since the final quarter of last year. 

Biggest increases in rental demand during Q1

Of all major cities analysed by Barrows and Forrester, it’s their hometown of Birmingham that has seen the biggest increase in rental demand in 2021. The UK’s second city has seen a +25.2% uplift in demand for rental homes, with 46.7% of all properties on the market being snapped up by tenants. 

Bournemouth has also seen a considerable increase, up +23.3% between Q1 of this year and the final quarter of 2020. 

Cardiff (+18.6%), Southampton (+16.8%) and Newport (+16.4%) also rank within the top five largest increases in rental demand.

Just Liverpool and Belfast have seen rental demand drop during the first quarter of this year, down -2.3% and -15.8% respectively 

Hottest rental markets

In terms of the cities with the highest levels of current rental demand, Bournemouth sits top with 74.6% of all rental homes already let. 

Rental homes in Newport are also in high demand at 74.2%, with Bristol (59.7%), Nottingham (52%) and London (48.3%) also scoring high. 

London

Within the capital, Enfield (+25.6%), Waltham Forest (+20.9%), Haringey and Sutton (+20.3%) have seen the largest increase in rental demand of all boroughs, while Sutton (76%), Enfield (72.9%) and Bromley (70.9%) are home to the highest levels of current demand. 

Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented:

“It’s been a very tough year for landlords and many have seen their rental income reduce due to tenants falling on tough financial times, while others have struggled to find a tenant in the first place. 

As a result, early signs of rental demand returning to the market will be very welcome indeed and, as we ease out of lockdown, this is a trend we will hopefully see increase throughout the remainder of the year. 

The green light for some university students to return and the fast-approaching start of a new academic year should further boost this initial increase in demand and so things are certainly starting to look up for the UK rental sector.”

The Rental Market Demand Review by Barrows and Forrester is a quarterly look at tenant demand levels in each major UK city. The index is based on the number of properties that are already marked as let agreed as a percentage of all homes listed across the major property portals. For example, if 100 homes are listed and 50 are already taken by prospective tenants, the area would sit at a 50% demand score.

Major UK Cities 2020 2021 Q4 2020 to Q1 2021
Q4 Q1 Change
Birmingham 21.5% 46.7% 25.2%
Bournemouth 51.3% 74.6% 23.3%
Cardiff 24.2% 42.8% 18.6%
Southampton 30.2% 47.0% 16.8%
Newport 57.8% 74.2% 16.4%
Bristol 43.7% 59.7% 16.1%
Newcastle 23.4% 38.7% 15.2%
Portsmouth 33.0% 47.9% 14.9%
London 33.80% 48.3% 14.5%
Manchester 23.2% 36.9% 13.6%
Nottingham 38.7% 52.0% 13.4%
Sheffield 21.8% 34.5% 12.7%
Oxford 27.3% 38.1% 10.8%
Leicester 20.2% 29.7% 9.5%
Cambridge 21.7% 30.9% 9.1%
Plymouth 34.4% 42.3% 7.8%
Leeds 12.8% 18.6% 5.8%
Glasgow 35.1% 39.4% 4.3%
Edinburgh 6.6% 9.7% 3.1%
Aberdeen 4.4% 7.5% 3.1%
Swansea 9.7% 12.4% 2.7%
Liverpool 23.0% 20.6% -2.3%
Belfast 27.8% 12.0% -15.8%
Average 27.20% 37.6% 10.4%
       
London Boroughs 2020 2021 Q4 2020 to Q1 2021
Q4 Q1 Change
Sutton 55.7% 76.0% 20.3%
Enfield 47.3% 72.9% 25.6%
Bromley 54.9% 70.9% 15.9%
Havering 54.7% 68.6% 13.9%
Bexley 65.6% 67.0% 1.4%
Croydon 44.6% 60.6% 16.0%
Waltham Forest 38.6% 59.5% 20.9%
Hillingdon 37.4% 55.3% 17.9%
Haringey 34.1% 54.4% 20.3%
Merton 36.1% 54.2% 18.1%
Barking and Dagenham 43.6% 54.1% 10.5%
Richmond upon Thames 39.1% 53.5% 14.4%
Kingston upon Thames 42.7% 51.9% 9.2%
Wandsworth 33.0% 51.7% 18.8%
Lewisham 35.3% 50.8% 15.5%
Harrow 33.7% 49.6% 15.8%
Redbridge 31.7% 48.5% 16.8%
Lambeth 30.6% 47.9% 17.3%
Barnet 26.4% 46.6% 20.2%
Newham 29.6% 45.3% 15.7%
Islington 27.7% 44.7% 17.0%
Hackney 26.8% 44.1% 17.3%
Southwark 26.9% 43.8% 16.9%
Greenwich 33.8% 43.1% 9.3%
Hounslow 31.7% 42.3% 10.6%
Ealing 22.5% 37.5% 15.0%
Tower Hamlets 22.8% 37.0% 14.1%
Hammersmith and Fulham 26.5% 34.4% 8.0%
City of London 23.2% 34.0% 10.8%
Brent 18.0% 32.2% 14.2%
Camden 18.9% 31.5% 12.6%
Kensington and Chelsea 12.0% 16.1% 4.1%
Westminster 10.8% 15.4% 4.6%
London 33.80% 48.30% 14.5%