Just 16% of available homes are for rent

Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2023

As demand continues to outstrip supply across the UK's rental market, new insight from Ocasa has revealed where the nation’s renters face the biggest hurdle in securing a home, due to these areas seeing the lowest levels of fresh rental property stock reaching the market so far in 2023.

Ocasa analysed the level of new rental stock reaching the market across Britain and where this level of new homes equates to the smallest proportion of total rental properties.

Across the UK, the average cost of renting has climbed by 10.8% or £114 per month over the last year, as tenant demand continues to outstrip the level of homes available to them.

The research by Ocasa suggests that this shortfall of rental homes looks set to continue as the level of new stock entering the market remains low.

In the last 14 days, just over 22,000 new rental properties have reached the market to boost rental property availability for the nation’s tenants. However, this rental market stock boost accounts for just 16% of the currently listed rental homes on the market.

On a regional level, the greatest scarcity of newly-listed rental properties is found in the West Midlands, where fresh rental stock accounts for just 11.7% of total available rental properties.

In both the East Midlands and Wales, newly listed rental stock accounts for just 12% of all homes available to rent.

The percentage of new rental listings entering the market also sits below the national average in Yorkshire & Humber (13%), the North East (14%), North West (14%), and South East (15%).

In fact, just the East of England (19%), London (21%) and Scotland (21%) currently sit above the national benchmark in this respect.

When analysing the data at a major city level, it’s Leeds where tenants are facing the smallest proportion of rental stock at just 6%.

In Birmingham, new rental stock currently accounts for just 8% of total properties available, climbing to 9% in Nottingham, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield.

However, tenants on the hunt in Edinburgh (28%), Glasgow (21%) and London (21%) have a far better chance of finding a fresh rental property, with newly listed stock accounting for over a fifth of total properties currently listed for let.

Jack Godby, Sales and Marketing Director at Ocasa, commented: “We are entering what could be a very difficult year for tenants. Not only do they face the tough task of accumulating a sizable deposit in order to secure a rental property, but the rising cost of living is putting a further squeeze on their finances on a long-term basis.

"That is, of course, if they can find a property in the first place, with competition already extremely high across many areas of the market.

"Unfortunately, the government’s best efforts to improve tenant welfare simply haven’t helped as the focus has very much been centred on the financial returns available to landlords, not the tenants themselves.

"So it’s hardly surprising that more and more landlords are choosing to exit the sector, with the level of new rental properties entering the market simply not sufficient enough to meet current demand.

"Of course, this reduction in stock will only hurt tenants further as a supply-demand imbalance causes rental prices to continue to climb ever higher.”

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