Record 50,000 new tenants enter the UK buy-to-let market

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Demand for rental accommodation reached record levels in the second quarter of the year.

Countrywide plc recorded that 50,480 new tenants registered with them for rental accommodation- a 16% increase since the start of the year and the highest level recorded since they started collecting data in 2003.

June saw the biggest increase in demand with over 18,000 new tenants registering, the highest number ever recorded in a single month and 22% higher than the figure for May.

This contrasts to the drop in new properties available to rent in the market which has fallen by 6% in the same period.

Fears that London landlords would be badly hit by the increase in capital gains tax appear to be unfounded with a 4% increase in new landlords putting their properties onto the buy-to-let market.

There is now an average of 5.5 tenants competing for each property on the market- up from 4.9 tenants during the first quarter of the year. Two bedroom houses in the South West have the most demand with 8.9 tenants competing for each property.

This increase in tenant demand has lead to an increase in rents, especially for four bedroom houses as more families turn to renting. The average rent for a four bedroom house is now £1,090 per month, a 4% increase since the first quarter of the year.

Properties are also being rented a lot quicker than before taking on average two weeks to find tenants. This is three days less than the first quarter of the year and six days less than quarter four of 2009.

John Hards, Co-Managing Director of Countrywide Residential Lettings said, “The number of tenants entering the market is at unprecedented levels- and we have yet to enter the peak season. Student demand for private rental accommodation will increase further with university applications at record levels.

“The buy-to-let sector remains a good source of investment, however, the government need to do more to incentivise new landlords in order to appease the current shortage of properties. If tenant levels continue to rise at the same rate, this will be further exacerbated.”

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20th July 2010