Demand for rented property rises

State of the economy puts people off buying homes.

The economic downturn has seen a growth in the demand for rented properties, according to the results of a survey.

In the three months to October, demand rose in the South West.

But surveyors say more quality properties are required for professionals, while many landlords are not being flexible enough with tenant requirements.

According to the latest RICS residential lettings survey, a lack of mortgage finance is the main reason for increased interest in the rental market - along with fears over the economy.

Renting is seen as a safer option than buying a property.

“The disappointing economic message communicated by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement and the prospect of further job losses in some sectors and areas over those previously envisaged is likely to continue to strengthen the South West’s residential lettings market in the near term – particularly in terms of demand levels,” said RICS spokesperson James Scott-Lee.

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Unlike many parts of the UK, supply of property to the South West’s rental market rose, with new landlord instructions moving to a net balance of +16 per cent.

Surveyors note that some properties, particularly family homes, are now coming to the lettings market after unsuccessful sales campaigns.

Ian Matthews, of Stratton Creber, said: “There is still plenty of activity from potential tenants.

“I am not getting sufficient quality properties to service the demand.

“My typical demographic are young professionals looking to secure one or two bedroom properties, but I have a distinct lack of new landlords.

“Rents are holding up well despite the economic downturn.”

Alison Whitfield, of Whitton and Laing, said: “The local rental market is still very buoyant.

“Lots of tenancy applications are complex due to insecurity of jobs and poor credit ratings, leading to unsuccessful applications.

“Landlords still expecting the best tenants at the highest rents and are not flexible with their requirements, which tenants are increasingly struggling to meet.”