Demand for rented accommodation has risen by 50% over the past year as aspiring home buyers continue to struggle to mount the housing ladder while others wait for the market slump to run its course.
The number of new leases jumped a further 4.3% in September alone, according to a UK lettings agent, Your Move. That coincides, it says, with mortgage advances at an all-time low and indicates that people are renting many more properties as they shun home ownership.
The agency was seeing the strongest ever tenant demand, said Your Move’s managing director, David Newnes. 'As banks stopper the bottle of mortgage finance, potential buyers have to stay in rented homes for longer than they have in the past.'
Your Move said that there had also been an increase in the supply of rental homes to meet that demand, because of the difficulties that many are having in selling their property.
According to Knight Frank, an estate agency, rents in the UK are expected to grow by about 2% this year – significantly slower than the 7.5% growth in 2007 – because of the extent of new supply as more people consider renting property rather than sell into a falling market.