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Rental demand cooling in hotspots busiest during pandemic

New data from Rightmove suggests that rental demand is cooling in some areas where the market was busiest during the pandemic.

And in contrast, demand is picking up in cities from which some tenants fled when Covid was at its peak.

Competition is measured by the portal by analysing the number of renters contacting letting agents in an area, compared with the number of properties available. As demand eases and the number of available properties increases in an area, competition between buyers or renters becomes less fierce.

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In Cornwall, one of the key hotspots for people looking to move from an urban to a coastal area over the last two years, competition between tenants has eased by an average of 31 per cent, with a jump of 29 per cent in new properties coming to the market to rent compared to this time last year, while demand is still 19 per cent up on last year’s levels.

Across all seaside areas, competition has eased by an average of 10 per cent for buyers and one per cent for renters compared to last year.

However, this easing comes after exceptional competition in coastal areas since the pandemic began. Competition to rent a home in Cornwall is still more than three times what it was this time in 2019.

While coastal areas begin to cool, competition between renters has risen across Great Britain’s 50 largest cities by an average of 29 per cent.

Edinburgh (up 165 per cent), Salford (up 142 per cent) and London (up 140 per cent) top the list for renters compared to a year ago. 

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s so-called ‘director of property science’, comments: “Since the market reopened at the beginning of the pandemic, there has been exceptional demand to move to coastal areas, and as the months progressed supply was increasingly unable to match demand. Now, we’re seeing that though demand is still very high in many coastal areas, it has slowed from the heady levels seen in parts of 2020 and 2021. 

We’re also seeing this on a national scale, where demand is very slowly easing compared to last year, but remains very high compared to 2019. 

As more choice becomes available in these seaside areas, we’re seeing some of the competition between buyers and renters begin to cool off, however, no two local markets are the same, and it will take many months for supply to reach a better balance with demand in many coastal areas.”

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