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The State of the Rental Market

  • 5 years ago

The lettings market in the UK has doubled in size over the last ten years, both in terms of the number of tenants and in the sizes of rents! In 2017, £50 billion – a record amount – was paid to UK landlords and there’s an unprecedented number of tenancy agreements. Several factors are causing this upsurge.

People can’t afford to buy until later in life

Many people can’t buy as soon as they’d like to, even with the governmental Help to Buy schemes. “Generation Rent” has to save up for deposits for a few years more than previous generations and that’s only the members who want to buy.

Not everyone wants to stay in one place

Our work lives have changed, with many UK workers wanting the flexibility to move around the country – or the world – with their jobs. If someone wants to stay mobile then a succession of rental agreements is much easier to deal with than having to sell. It’s also the case that the UK is becoming friendlier towards tenants than previously.

Properties are snapped up quickly and lived in for longer

As long as the rent is at the right level, then properties will be taken up quickly. What has changed, however, is the length of tenancies nowadays. The last ten years have seen the average tenancy lengthen to 18 months rather than a year, as people want more stability and to also lock in their monthly rent for longer.

Changes in legislation are encouraging more people to rent

New legislation to protect tenants has made renting a more attractive option than it has been for a long while. There are now several client money protection schemes, which cover landlords against fraudulent letting agents, as well as deposit protection schemes, which prevent unscrupulous landlords misusing or withholding tenants’ deposits. These schemes encourage both landlords and renters to take the plunge and when the tenant fee ban comes into force in spring, renters will feel even more confident.

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