New data from Rightmove reveals that the imbalance of supply and demand for rental properties in suburban and rural areas has led to a jump in 11 per cent in asking rents compared to pre-pandemic levels.
The average asking rent in suburban areas across Great Britain is now £1,041 pcm, up from £940 in February 2020. In rural areas, rents have jumped from £1,141 pcm to £1,264 pcm now.
Urban rents are up by just £25 over the same time period, from £1,347 to £1,372 pcm.
A sustained desire from renters for more space outside of city centres has led to increased demand for suburban properties, contributing to the number of available homes to rent in the suburbs dropping by 45 per cent compared to before the pandemic, and down 61 per cent in rural areas.
This means more competition amongst tenants for the properties available, with tenant demand per rental property available in the suburbs rising by 155 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels, and soaring 224 per cent in rural locations.
The analysis of over 300,000 rental listings compares tenant demand and available rental stock across Great Britain in August 2021 with February 2020, to measure the impact of the pandemic on tenant behaviour and rental availability.
Although tenant demand in urban areas is also rising, there are more properties available to choose from.
Of all the available rental properties on Rightmove, 64 per cent of them are now in urban locations, a jump up from 48 per cent pre-pandemic.
The proportion of available properties that are in the suburbs has dropped from 46 to 33 per cent, while rural areas have declined from six to three per cent.
Competition for available rental properties has also increased in urban areas compared to before the pandemic, though significantly less than suburban and rural areas.
The portal says all of this has led to rural and suburban rental properties flying out the door, with the average rental property in rural locations finding a tenant 18 days more quickly than before the pandemic, suburban properties finding a tenant two weeks more quickly, and urban rentals finding a tenant five days faster.