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Rental market activity shows ‘green shoots’ of recovery


There has been a significant increase in the number of rental properties hitting the market after lockdown on the sector was lifted last week. 


Fresh analysis of rental stock figures sourced from Rightmove and Zoopla shows that the number of rental properties coming onto the market has surged by up to 44% in some UK cities as landlords returned and letting agents were able to resume business.  


The research by Howsy shows that the number of available rental properties listed across the major portals the day after lockdown restrictions were eased across the UK property market, before comparing this to the number of properties listed in April.


The data reveals that across 23 major UK cities, the number of rental properties now available to UK tenants has seen an immediate uplift of 5% on average. This increase has been driven by just seven cities, while the rest have seen further declines in rental stock levels.


The largest increase based on the sheer number of properties has been in London, with an additional 6,838 immediately hitting the portals, up 15%. 

In terms of percentage increases, Edinburgh has seen the largest influx with an uplift of 44%.

Cambridge has seen rental stock bolstered by 19%, with Aberdeen, which has seen a 16% increase, also registering a double-digit increase.  


Glasgow (+6%), Oxford (+5%), and Manchester (+0.2%) have also seen a lift in rental stock levels. 

However, some cities are yet to see a market recovery, with Bristol seeing stock levels fall by 22% since April. 


Bournemouth (-17%) and Plymouth (-17%) have also seen some of the largest declines.

Callum Brannan, founder and CEO of Howsy, said: “Many in the rental sector will be breathing a sigh of relief with such immediate green shoots of market activity returning to a number of cities following an ease in lockdown market restrictions. 


“Of course, other pockets of the market will take longer to see this positive trend emerge as agents and landlords find their feet operationally.


“We’re certainly not out of the woods yet and the ongoing financial and health implications facing many tenants and landlords will continue to be an obstacle. However, now that we as an industry are able to facilitate them on a greater scale, we can at least start to rebuild momentum in the sector.  


“Now, it’s vital that landlords receive the support and protection they need from us as an industry, to ensure confidence in their investment and to maintain a suitable level of rental stock to meet demand from tenants who rely on these homes in order to live.”




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