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Demand for rental housing is at a record high

Demand for private rental housing is at an all-time high, according to new research published by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA). 

A survey of private landlords across England and Wales, conducted in partnership with the research consultancy BVA/BDRC, found that 57% confirmed that demand for homes to rent had increased in the third quarter of 2021 – up from 39% in the second quarter of the year. 

At the onset of the first COVID lockdown in the second quarter of 2020 just 14% of landlords reported tenant demand having increased. In a sign of recovery in the market, landlords operating in London have seen a significant uptick in demand compared to the levels reported throughout the pandemic as workers returned to the capital.

Around 68% of landlords operating in outer London reported demand having increased, up from 25% in the third quarter of 2020. In central London, 54% reported increased demand, up from 16% at the same time last year.

Elsewhere, landlords operating in the South West reported the strongest demand with 79% saying that demand had increased in the third quarter of the year. This was followed by 74% in the South East (excluding London), 73% in Wales and 71% in the West Midlands. 

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