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Revealed: Areas where there are major rental supply shortages

The worst served city for rental stock is Newport in Wales where just 13.5% of properties listed are to rent, according to fresh research by Howsy. 

The letting management platform, which looked at where across the UK is currently home to the lowest level of rental stock listed on the major platforms as a percentage of all stock listed, found that Bristol has the second lowest and lowest in England at 15.8%. This was closely followed by Glasgow at 16.4% as the lowest in Scotland.

Belfast ranks as the city with the fourth lowest level of rental stock at 16.8%, with Plymouth completing the top five at just 24.9%.


In stark contrast, Aberdeen is home to an abundance of rental stock, with 62.2% of all properties listed on the portals for rent. Newcastle ranks second with 53.5%, followed by Oxford (47.3%), London (42.1%) and Southampton (41.2%).


Looking at the capital on a borough level, Bexley ranks as the worst area for rental stock availability with just 15.2% of property listed on the portals available for tenants, not homebuyers. 

Havering (16.4%), Bromley (18.7%), Sutton (21.4%) and Croydon (23.7%) also rank amongst the lowest, while Westminster is home to the highest at 62%.

Calum Brannan, founder and CEO of Howsy, said: “This data not only suggests where tenants might struggle to find a place to rent due to an imbalance of rental to sale stock but perhaps also where has seen the largest exodus of buy-to-let landlords due to recent changes in legislation with lettings stock dwindling while the amount of property for sale increases.  

“It makes sense that in cities dominated by industry, such as Aberdeen or Newcastle, and in those with the least affordable price tags, such as London and Oxford, there is a higher tendency to rent and therefore more rental properties as a proportion of all homes listed.

“However, it also highlights that in areas such as Newport, Bristol and Glasgow where rental stock is very low, there is a real opportunity for the professional buy-to-let landlord due to a higher level of tenant demand with a lower investment cost.

“Whichever way you look at it, we’re seeing a shift in lifestyle trends towards a greater acceptance of renting on a longer-term basis with the scramble to own our own homes taking a back seat, and so it’s important that the level of rental stock available is cultivated to meet demand across the UK.”

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