Where is the highest tenant demand in the UK?

Where is the highest tenant demand in the UK?

Regional towns and cities are currently the most in-demand areas amongst tenants, according to research from the rental management platform Howsy.

By looking at current rental listings across the country’s leading portals and comparing the number of available properties to how many have been let in each area, Howsy managed to identify which UK towns and cities were seeing the highest demand from prospective tenants. The data found that it was mostly regional towns and cities that were the most popular.

The area that saw the largest demand from tenants was the South Wales city of Newport. It was revealed in Howsy’s findings that out of all the rental listings in Newport, 35% had already had a let agreed. Just over the River Severn, rental properties in Bristol are also in high demand amongst tenants, with 34% of properties listed already having lets agreed. Other high performing cities in the survey included Nottingham (33%), Cambridge (33%) and Belfast (25%). Manchester also managed to make it in the top ten, with 18% of listed properties having tenancies agreed.

The common denominator between the cities mentioned above is that they all have a large student population. There appears to be a growing trend of students choosing to stay in the city they studied in after they graduate. According to a study carried out by the student accommodation provider Liberty Living, 36% of students decided to stay in the city that they studied in – this is a vast improvement from 2016 where a study by Centre for Cities found 77% of students chose to live and work in London after they graduate, as opposed to their respective university cities.

Affordability also seemed to be a huge factor that determined tenant demand. As well as regional cities, Howsy also reviewed each of the London Boroughs in their survey. Their findings suggested that there was more interest in outer boroughs such as Croydon, Haringey and Kingston, than in Central areas like Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea (which only had 7% lets agreed out of all listed properties). This was also evident throughout the rest of the country; cities listed in the top ten, including Newport, Leicester and Plymouth, have median asking rents that are below the national average.

Calum Brannan, founder and chief executive of Howsy, said: ‘The buy-to-let sector may have had a rough ride of late but the UK rental market is still heavily relied upon by many in order to put a roof over their head and as a result, many cities still provide a great opportunity for buy-to-let investors due to the lower levels of available stock and consistently high tenant demand,’

‘When looking to invest, this combination of high demand, an affordable initial cost and a good rental yield should all be considered in order to maximise a return. For those that do their research and tick these boxes, bricks and mortar remains a very sound investment despite attempts to dampen the financial return via stamp duty hikes and changes to tax relief.’

It’s clear to see the appeal that regional cities have at the moment and investors should be taking advantage of this. Not only do these areas provide excellent value for money, there is also potential for them to become increasingly lucrative as their popularity grows with tenants.

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