Rental demand starts to climb in Q1 as tenants return from seasonal slumber


The latest research by Zero Deposit, the tenancy deposit alternative, has revealed that tenant demand for rental homes climbed by +1.5% during the first quarter of 2024, with almost a third of all homes listed for rent already being snapped up by renters.

Zero Deposit analysed rental demand across each county in England based on the number of available rental properties that have already seen a let agreed as a proportion of total rental stock available.

See the rental demand data for your county online here.

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The latest figures for Q1 2024 show that 31.8% of all rental homes listed to rent had already been taken by tenants, meaning that rental demand has increased by +1.5% versus the Q4 2023.

Quarterly movement
While only a handful of counties saw tenant demand climb during the final quarter of last year, no less than 34 have seen rental demand increase on a quarterly basis during the first three months of 2024.

The Isle of Wight has seen the largest increase in demand for rental homes, with demand climbing by +14.8% on a quarterly basis. Cornwall has also seen a significant quarterly increase at +14.3%, with Northumberland (+11.9%), Dorset (+10.6%) and West Sussex (+7.9%) also ranking within the top five.

In contrast, Tyne and Wear has seen the largest reduction in demand for rental homes, down -7% versus Q4 2023, followed by North Yorkshire (-6.1%), City of London (-4.3%), Merseyside (-3.2%) and Nottinghamshire (-2%).

Hottest and coldest current rental markets
The strong quarterly uplifts seen since the end of last year mean that West Sussex (56.4%), the Isle of Wight (55.8%), Cornwall (54.5%) and Dorset (52.5%) also rank as the current hottest spots of the rental market and are the only counties where more than half of all homes listed for rent have already found a tenant.

Wiltshire completes the top five hottest rental markets in Q1 2024, where demand currently sits at 48.7%.

The City of London is home to the lowest rental demand across the nation, with just 15.6% of current rental listings having already found a tenant.

Sam Reynolds, CEO of Zero Deposit commented:

“Following the seasonal slowdown seen in Q4 of last year, the rental market certainly seems to be back open for business, with tenant demand climbing across the vast majority of counties during the first three months of this year.

In fact, in no less than 34 counties, between a third and over a half of all rental properties listed to rent have already been snapped up by tenants, which demonstrates the imbalance between the need for rental homes and the stock available to tenants.

We anticipate that as we now enter into the busiest time of year for the housing market, tenant demand will continue to climb and this will put further strain on the level of stock available, with this supply-demand imbalance only pushing rents higher.”

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