‘Room wanted’ ads are currently outnumbering ads for ‘rooms available’ on flatshare site SpareRoom for only the third time in six years.
The rental platform says the surge in demand is down to people coming into the market rather than moving within it.
According to a new poll of 6,206 people, demand is unusually high because people are moving out of parents’ or friends’ houses, flatsharing after renting on their own or owning a property, while students in general are starting to return to cities. This results in a lot of people looking for rooms without vacating their current property, putting pressure on the market.
SpareRoom’s research reveals exactly where these people are moving from:
- Another Flatshare - 29%
- Parent’s home - 25%
- Outside UK - 14%
- A friend’s house/flat - 10%
- My own rented properly (not shared with anyone else) - 6%
- Partner’s house/flat - 5%
- Student accommodation - 4%
- A property they own - 1%
- Other - 6%
In addition, declining confidence amongst landlords could be contributing to the lack of supply, the platform warns.
A SpareRoom survey of 1,471 landlords and agents in September revealed they’re becoming less confident about the rental market, with just 44 per cent having confidence in the rental market, down from 52 per cent from June.
In London, just 37 per cent felt confident, dipping from 38 per cent in June.
Matt Hutchinson, SpareRoom director comments: “Last summer we had record levels of supply in the rental market, alongside demand at an all-time low. Now that’s completely flipped and there are more ads from people looking for rooms than there are rooms available.
“We’ve been in this position before a couple of times over the past six years, but this time things feel a little different. A peak in supply is always followed by a sharp dip, but supply has fallen further than usual this time. However, the real change right now is on the demand side of the equation.
“Pent up demand, following 18 months of lockdown, restrictions and uncertainty, is being released back into the market. That’s coinciding with huge numbers of people who moved home for lockdown starting to look for their own places again. If people are largely moving within the market, rooms are taken, but also freed up as people move out. What we’re seeing is more people coming into the market – they’re not freeing up supply, just adding to demand. That creates the squeeze we’re seeing right now.”