Demand for rentals rises in UK’s largest cities in Q1

About 38% of units rented in the first quarter

National Weekend Edition /
Apr.April 10, 2021 02:00 PM
Birmingham and Bournemouth both saw a giant increase in demand. (Getty)

Birmingham and Bournemouth both saw a giant increase in demand. (Getty)

Demand is rising for apartments in the United Kingdom’s largest cities following a slow fourth quarter that capped off a coronavirus-weakened year for the rental market.

A Barrows and Forrester report comparing rented units to total listings found that 37.6 percent of rentals listed in the first quarter leased, according to Mansion Global. That’s a 10.4 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2021.

The firm’s managing director James Forrester said in the report that students returning to schools “should further boost this initial increase in demand.”

Birmingham saw the largest quarter-over-quarter jump in demand, rising to 46.7 percent. In Bournemouth, nearly 75 percent of rentals leased in the first quarter, a 23.3 percent quarterly gain and the highest percentage overall of any city in the country.

And in London, leasing was up to 48 percent, an increase of 14.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2020. Three of London’s boroughs saw more than 70 percent of their total listed units find renters. Demand in Sutton was calculated at 76 percent.

Multifamily developers and investors are bullish on London rentals despite a decrease in demand due to the pandemic. More Londoners are renting than in decades past, a trend that’s expected to continue through the 2020s.

Belfast and Liverpool were the only cities in the U.K. that saw rental demand decline between the fourth quarter of 2020 and first quarter of 2021, with 15.8 and 2.3 percent declines, respectively.

[Mansion Global] — Dennis Lynch 


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