Tuesday, 15 February 2011 11:02 AM
A national lettings group has confirmed that demand for rental property is significantly outstripping supply, with the number of properties on its books catering for only 16 per cent of would-be tenants looking to move home.
Data released by Sequence shows that, alongside the much-reported demand for rental property in the last quarter of 2010, the period saw a decrease in the number of homes coming onto the lettings market.
The traditional pre-Christmas supply drop-off can partly account for this, and Sequence did see a 25 per cent increase in available rental properties in January. However, even after the increase, only 12 per cent of newly registered applicants would be able to be catered for by these numbers.
Though the trend is nationwide, some regional variations are apparent. Renters in northern England are slightly better off, with 14 per cent of Sequence's would-be tenants being able to be catered for by the properties on the company's books. Those in the South and South-west are in a worse position: Sequence has suitable rental properties for only ten per cent of new applicants.
Unsurprisingly, the imbalance between supply and demand is resulting in rising rents.
Stephen Nation, divisional managing director for Sequence Lettings, said: "With rents and yields rising, it is surprising that landlords and investors are not doing more to grow their portfolios.
"As the residential sales market improves and mortgage finance for first-time buyers becomes more widely available we may see a drop off in demand, but at the current time, we need more properties to let and landlords are missing a trick if they do not take advantage now."
Sequence is the lettings division of Connells, and incorporates Allen & Harris, Bagshaws Residential, Barnard Marcus, Brown & Merry, Fox & Sons, Jones & Chapman, Manners & Harrison, Roger Platt, Shipways, Swetenhams and William H Brown.
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