An Insight into the Current Lettings Stock

According to property website Zoopla, renters in the UK are now paying £62 more each month than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. This price jump takes the average monthly rent in the UK to £969.


However, despite this increase – or maybe the reason for it, the demand for rental properties is soaring and while tenant enquiries are at an all-time high, the number of available properties is at record lows.


This national picture is certainly echoed in what is being experienced locally. Here in Warwickshire, there has been a noticeable decline for the last two years of properties within a letting agent’s portfolio, which in isolation will have an impact on the number of properties available to rent at any one time.


However, with landlords seeking longer-term tenancies, and tenants being prepared to commit is it any wonder we are not seeing the usual supply of properties? The impact for tenants is that rent has increased and will continue to do so whilst demand outstrips supply by some margin.


Recently, the Commons Public Accounts Committee published a report on the state of private rented housing. According to the report: “13% (589,000) of privately rented properties currently pose “a serious threat to the health and safety of renters – costing the NHS an estimated £340 million each year.”


While this isn’t something that has yet been highlighted as an issue in the Warwickshire area, it is something that is prevalent around the UK and like most trends and issues, there will be some aspect of it locally.


Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee told The New Statesman that “Unsafe conditions, overcrowding, harassment, discrimination and dodgy evictions are still a huge issue in the private rented sector and yet the sector is a growing provider of homes and rents keep rising, meaning that safe, suitable housing is too often out of reach for renters.”


While there are sectors within the market that are experiencing particular supply difficulties. For example, there is a chronic shortage of family homes to rent in South Warwickshire, this crisis is providing an opportunity for investors. It is providing an opportunity for investors to offer decent and safe homes to good people who need them.


With so many large employers on our doorstep, many of whom have again started to relocate parts of their workforce there is a real need for buy to let investors increase the number of properties within their portfolios.


With a reported increase of 14% over the last year locally in house prices, now is the time to invest and those figures should be all the incentive you should need.