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Two tier lettings market, with London lagging behind

Demand for private rented housing has reached a five year high says the National Residential Landlords Association.

In the association’s survey of private landlords across England and Wales, conducted with research consultancy BVA/BDRC, 39 per cent said demand increased in the second quarter of 2021 – an eight per cent hike on the first quarter of the year. 

Demand is therefore the highest it’s been since the first quarter of 2016. The survey suggests this is due to the relaxation of Covid restrictions and a more buoyant economic outlook.


But the NRLA says a two-tier rental market is developing across particular regions. 

In Yorkshire and the Humber, Wales, the South West and the South East over 60 per cent of landlords said demand for homes had increased. 

In stark contrast, just 15 per cent of landlords in Central London said demand had increased in the second quarter of the year, compared with 53 per cent who said it had fallen.

This supports the trend of some tenants looking to leave London in the wake of the growth in home working. Official data shows that in the year to July the capital was the only region where rents fell in real terms.

Despite an overall increase in demand, the proportion of landlords intending to buy property has fallen from the four year high of 19 per cent recorded in the first quarter of the year, to 14 per cent. 

In comparison, the proportion looking to divest has returned to 20 per cent, up three percentage points from the first quarter of the year. 

Despite restrictions lifting, some 55 per cent of landlords say their lettings business will continue to be negatively impacted by the pandemic. 

Again, this masks considerable regional variations: 81 per cent of those in Outer London and 78 per cent of those in Central London said they would be negatively impacted. At the other end of the spectrum, fewer than half, 49 per cent, of those in Yorkshire and the Humber said they would be negatively affected.

Chris Norris, Policy Director for the National Residential Landlords Association comments: “The evidence is clear that nationally whilst the demand for homes to rent is increasing, landlords are more reluctant to invest in new properties. 

“The only losers will be tenants as they struggle to find the homes to rent they need. The Chancellor needs to recognise the harm being done by tax hikes imposed on the sector.

“It is clear that there is a significant flight of tenants from the capital in response to the pandemic. With lockdown restrictions ended, and offices beginning to reopen, the jury is out as to whether this trend will continue.”

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  • George Dawes

    Depends what parts of London they are referring to

    The labour controlled dumps definitely .... driving through them it's like another world , a 3rd one

    The Tory ones - among the most expensive real estate in europe if not the world , I should know i'm there and it's booming ! Non stop interest in my flats/shops , have to turn the agents away , it's hilarious :) Massive pent up demand and very little available

  • Annie

    George. Regarding your point about Labour and Tory areas of London. You seem to be implying Labour councils create poverty in these areas. That's just not true. It is true, however, that poor areas vote Labour - not the same. Central government (Tory) then makes sure they stay poor by underfunding for their needs.
    Finally, being awash with money is nothing to be proud of. Flaunting it - even worse.


    Being a hard working self made man (or woman) is something to be proud of though Annie, you will generally find the poor are also the workshy.

    Theodor Cable

    Sorry, but I am very proud of making lots of money by very hard work and risking everything, rather than sitting on my backside and getting free money from MY taxes.......

    And anywway, these layabouts should be made to work for the benefits they get rather than letting them sit around all day watching TV.........

  • icon

    I can’t understand all this about funding those days everyone wants funding. We never got any funding we had to earn our own or go without, funding means you want someone else to give you the money.
    Some people are reasonable well off which it fine if you worked and make it, its nice to be able to rear your family and afford some of life’s little luxury’s and pay your Bills, other than that it doesn’t matter a carrot what you have or whether some have millions, its no difference you can still only sleep in one bed, have enough to eat, have a couple of pints if you fancy that or go to football match. Millions are just a headache and sitting there, that you’ll never see or use. I don’t like wealthy to brag or show off, its like saying I am better than you and not nice, some of us are sometimes more fortunate than others, no one can tell the bones of the man with the ragged jacket

  • Annie

    The 'poor' I know are juggling two or three jobs to survive in London. They are good at budgeting so it's not that. They are not alone in being in this situation. There are too many stereotypes about the poor. Just saying...


    Living in London is expensive, so why live in London ? move to somewhere cheaper

  • Theodor Cable

    Then they should leave London.

  • icon

    Expensive and always first to be clobbered with Regulations, Hundreds of pounds from every Council tax payer to Mayor Sadiq Khan but no benefit to us, but for him to waste as he thinks fit. Coming extending Congestion & ulez inside £27.50
    per day to go into London plus parking Charges in Hammersmith area £16. Per day £43.50 x say 5 days a week £217.50pw how does he expect a small builder to survive this, run his van and earn a living not a hope, he may as well pack up, join the other lot and joy ride around on electric scooters

  • icon

    Norfolk is a lot nicer and cheaper than London, go further north and life gets cheaper still, what is it about London ? expensive sh*t hole.

  • Annie

    Why should Londoners move out of London?


    Because some of them cannot afford to live there, why do some of us drive a Ford while others drive a Rolls, the way I see it all boils down to the same thing.

  • George Dawes

    Google it , 'poorest areas of London'

    The most recent estimates of overall poverty rates for London boroughs are from modelled small-area estimates using 2013/14 data. According to these, the boroughs with the highest proportion of people living in poverty are Tower Hamlets (39%), Newham (37%) and Hackney (36%). In contrast, these estimates suggest that Bromley (15%), Richmond upon Thames (15%) and Bexley (16%) have the lowest rates of poverty.

    Tower Hamlets = Labour

    Hackney = Labour

    Newham = Labour

    Bromley = Conservative

    Richmond = Conservative

    Bexley = Conservative

    I rest my case..

    Nothing like a bit of research in a discussion is there ?

  • icon

    Annie, people have moved out of London because of Pandemic. Many have bought outside of London because they were able to work from home, get far better value for their money, try getting them back into Office’s.
    The poorer areas are created by benefit system people get addicted to doing nothing.

  • icon

    So Mr Khan can whistle for his £15 per day ULEZ 364 days a year, unless you have a really modern car to come into London, add to that £12.50 per day Congestion Charge no escaping this one from 7am to 22pm 364 days a year it must have broken him heart to let you off for one day in the year only because he knew he’d get nothing that day. Add sky high parking Charges. Just try adding those costs onto your Invoice for your job of work no way. S
    o the ones that can work remotely with Computers can earn in London, people that have to come into London & physically be there to do real
    work are hammered.

  • George Dawes

    I got rid of my car ages ago , Uber works out much cheaper and more convenient plus no more mot crap , parking problems , servicing etc etc

    in London cars are a nice idea , that’s about it

  • icon

    That’s fine unless you are a trade that needs tools and equipment to your job or ferry merchandise etc, someone has to do it and only digital academics can work from home not real work really for most part, mostly administration that Office girls used to do in the ‘60’s for £12.00 a week, haven’t times changed now needs technology, computers, internet and university degrees to do what short hand typists done.

  • George Dawes

    Yes in the future I can see problems trying to deliver a 3 piece suite on a bicycle

  • icon

    Getting rid of old one big job. Re-cycle Centre in Brent impossible. Digital Academic waiting with iPad, have you booked on line. no Madam, can’t come here advise what you are bringing but very restricted what that is, must know date and time in advance, Could be a couple of days to get a slot, but closed 2 days in middle of week, like my experience gave a slot at a centre 6 miles away in Feltham when local one is in Park Royal obviously I didn’t go. (I think there’s one in Scunthorpe) utter nonsense. Do they think we have nothing else to do only organise our lives around a trip to recycling depot. No wonder everywhere is fly tipped it a disgrace, but they increase our c/tax 6% this year while reducing services, Child economics.


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