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Rental demand up by 14% as supply falls

Rightmove’s analysis of its own listings for January suggests demand in the rental market is 14 per cent up on a year earlier – just as supply is precisely 14 per cent down.

The website states that the market, both for rentals and sales, remains remarkably buoyant, despite this being a traditionally slower period as landlords and tenants recover from Christmas.

Visits to the site last month – from prospective renters and purchasers – were up per cent on January 2020 and time spent on Rightmove soared 44 per cent.

The total of prospective buyers contacting agents was up seven per cent on January last year, and those enquiring about a property to rent rose 14 per cent.

“It’s clear that more people than ever before used the new year as a chance to start thinking about moving home, despite all of the challenges and worries that came with January, but we are seeing the effect of lockdown on the number of properties coming to market? explains Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister.

The latest rental market snapshot from ARLA Property mark – using lettings agents’ data from December – shows the number of new prospective tenants fell slightly at the end of last year to an average of 64 per branch from an average 65 in November.

In terms of supply, the number of properties managed per branch fell five per cent from 214 in November to 204 in December.

The number of landlords selling properties remained the same as November at four per branch in December. Year-on-year this is the same figure as during December 2019.

This rental demand vs supply deficit sits well for buy-to-let landlords in 2021.