Demand for Rental Housing Outstrips Supply

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Research conducted by Winkworth Estate Agents, the leading franchisor of real estate agencies, shows that a surge in demand for rental accommodation over the summer has outstripped rental supply.

properties. While there has been some renewed supply of buy to let mortgages, these remain expensive for buyers with less than 20% equity, and with the increase in Capital Gains Tax providing a new barrier to investment, ongoing supply constraints will continue to support rents

Winkworth's latest quarterly review analysing trends and the outlook for the UK residential property sales and lettings markets, shows that tenant registrations soared over July and August, finishing 47% up on May, and the number of potential renters in August was up 14% on last year. In contrast, the number of rental properties on the market in August was over 50% lower than a year ago.

Dominic Agace, CEO of M Winkworth Plc, said that this shortfall in supply has pushed up rents:

"Rentals have seen price increases following a shortfall in investment in the sector by private landlords due to the suspension of buy to let mortgage products over the last two years and the selling off of "accidental landlord" properties. While there has been some renewed supply of buy to let mortgages, these remain expensive for buyers with less than 20% equity, and with the increase in Capital Gains Tax providing a new barrier to investment, ongoing supply constraints will continue to support rents".

The National Housing Federation recently announced that the average age of a first-time buyer has risen to 43. Lenders' demands for high purchase deposits mean that increasing numbers of first time buyers are struggling to get mortgages and therefore renting for much longer. As a result, properties are not coming onto the market. Limited buy-to-let mortgage options are also preventing landlords from strengthening their portfolios and bringing fresh stock to the market, so demand continues to outstrip supply.

This increase in demand and shortage of stock has led to a year-on-year rent price increase of 5% which is broadly in line with inflation. But this continued supply and demand pressure is likely to push average rents up further as we move into autumn.

For more information please contact Bola Sodeinde at Winkworth press office on +44 (0) 208 576 5598

Notes to Editors:

About Winkworth
Winkworth is a leading franchisor of residential real estate agencies and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Established in Mayfair in 1835, Winkworth has a pre-eminent position in the mid to upper segments of the central London residential sales and lettings markets. In total, the company operates from over 80 offices in the UK, France and Portugal, having doubled in size in recent years.

The franchise model allows entrepreneurial professional estate agents to provide the highest standards of service under the banner of a well-respected brand name and to benefit from the support and promotion that Winkworth offers. Franchisees deliver in-depth local knowledge and a highly personalised service to their clients. For further information please visit: http://www.winkworthplc.com

Winkworth Quarterly Analysis (Autumn 2010)
The Winkworth quarterly review analyses trends and the outlook for the UK residential property sales and lettings markets. The data for the report is gathered from a monthly survey of franchisees and should therefore be considered as indicative rather than factual. Follow this link for a full copy of the report: http://www.winkworth.co.uk/public/static/autumn-2010-market-analysis.pdf

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Bola Sodeinde
Winkworth
+44 (0) 208 576 5598
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