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Property shortage - which UK regions need more rental properties?

A disparity between property demand and supply has risen across the UK. This has created opportunities for buy-to-let landlords to invest in regions around England. The shortage of stock in the current rental market was recently analysed by Sequre Property Investment.

By examining the stock levels of private rented homes in each region in England and comparing them with the number of available rental listings in the same area, Sequre Property Investment was able to accumulate a list of regions that might be of interest to investors.

Rental property demand in the UK


According to the Build to Let specialist there are approximately 4.7 million privately rented homes across England. Out of these properties 3.6% of the national total, around 168,634 homes, are currently on the market looking for new tenants. Meaning investors could take advantage of this opportunity.

Sequre Property Investment claims that regions there is the most need for more rental homes are a good opportunity for buy-to-let investors to invest.

In contrast, the data shows there could be higher demand in some regions due to a lower percentage of available rental homes, as opposed to the size of the overall rental market.

UK regions the rental market can consider

In the South West, there are around 520,000 private rental homes yet 7,802 of these are available to rent - just 1.5% are part of the total rental market.

Sales director at Sequre Property Investment, Daniel Jackson, adds: “So much attention is given to the sales market, not least in the wake of Covid-19, but the rental market remains far more relevant for many millions of people in this country. These people need homes - good quality, secure homes - and yet the buy-to-let industry has come under attack from a government that has a vision of England where everybody owns and nobody rents.”

“But this isn’t a vision that most people share and so, despite the government’s best efforts, choosing to invest in a region with a lack of available rental properties on the market means you have a great chance of securing reliable, long-term tenancies in high-demand markets.”

The North accounted for the next three lowest levels of available rental properties, making it possibly one of the better opportunities for buy-to-let investors to invest.

Across the North West of England, 2.2% of estimated private rental homes are available to rent. North East has 2.4% and Yorkshire and the Humber has 2.5% of private rental properties are available to rent.

In the East and West Midlands, the total of available rental properties is 3.1% and the East of England is 3.2%

The South East (3.7%) and London (7.2%) are the only regions to sit above the national benchmark.

With the property market showing no signs of slowing down just yet, studies such as this one conducted by Sequre property investment might help get a better grasp of where to invest.

Below is a table that shows the available rental stock as a percentage of all private rental stock in each county.

Region Private Rent Stock 2019 Rental Listings (All inc let agreed) Current listings as % of private rental stock
London 963794 69329 7.2%
South East 728927 27226 3.7%
East 451828 14896 3.3%
East Midlands 231539 7448 3.2%
West Midlands 546579 16709 3.1%
Yorkshire & Humber 553477 13980 2.5%
North East 180174 4276 2.4%
North West 529169 11811 2.2%
South West 520078 7802 1.5%
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    If you want vast numbers of rental properties it would be a lot easier and cheaper to turn the legal dynamics of letting back in favour of landlords. First stop would be to stop councils for ever legislating because of the cost of it. It achieves very little when it issues licences to do the totally obvious. Second step would be to charge builders and property inspectors for the current fire safety mess. Building societies have a hand in this as well. Their inspectors have passed a great many mortgage applications without properly examining the property. I watched an inspection of a house I was selling. I recognized the car. Whoever, slowed down to third gear as he drove past.


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