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Commuter Belt rental shortage as tenants still leave London

Demand for private rented housing in the South East is the second highest in England - and it is thought to be because tenants are leaving London to move further afield. 

Data from the National Residential Landlords Association shows that 63 per cent of private landlords in the region report that demand for their properties by tenants increased in the second quarter of 2021. 

This compares with an average of 39 per cent of landlords across the country who reported an increase during the same period.


The survey, conducted in partnership with research consultancy BVA/BDRC, shows that 16 per cent of landlords in the South East plan to increase the number of properties they rent out over the next year. 

Alongside this, 16 per cent of respondents confirmed that they plan to cut the number of homes they have. This supports figures published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which underline the extent to which the demand for private rented housing in the region is outstripping supply across the South East.

The strong demand for rental homes is a result of a relaxation of Covid restrictions, a more buoyant economic outlook and a continued pattern of tenants leaving London as the trend towards home working continues. 

Just over half of landlords in central London, 53 per cent, reported a fall in tenant demand with only 15 per cent of landlords saying it had increased.

Nationally, the survey found that landlords reported that demand for private rented housing has reached a five year high.



According to the Office for National Statistics, private rents across the South East increased by 1.5 per cent in the 12 months to July this year which was below the inflation figure of 2.1 per cent.

Marion Money, the NRLA’s South East regional representative, says: “This data demonstrates the extent to which tenants throughout the South East will continue to be negatively impacted due to the ongoing shortfall in private rented homes across the sector. 

“Urgent steps must be taken by government in order to facilitate greater investment in the private rented sector and ensure this situation does not worsen over the coming year.”

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  • George Dawes

    Depends what part they're talking about , in my area ( PCL ) demand far outstrips supply


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