The long term undersupply of rental properties across the country is expected to support rental growth into 2022, says Zoopla.
In addition, the supply shortage coupled with the strength of the employment market which, despite the pandemic, is set to remain robust, will in turn support demand and sustain rental growth.
The portal says the level of rental demand might ease in the near term in line with seasonal trends, but demand levels will remain higher than usual, especially in city centres, where there is an element of pent-up demand being released.
On the supply side, rental stock will remain tight, amid lower levels of investment into the sector by landlords, and this will underpin rental pricing.
There is more leeway for stronger rental growth in areas of the country where rents are relatively more affordable, suggesting that rents could rise above earnings outside of the south of England, supporting rental growth across the UK excluding London at 6.0 per cent in 2021 and 4.0 per cent in 2022.
Meanwhile, London rental growth is expected to pick up to 3.5 per cent with rents ultimately exceeding pre-pandemic levels.
Gráinne Gilmore, Head of Research, Zoopla, comments: “The swing back of demand into city centres, including London, has underpinned another rise in rents in Q3, especially as the supply of rental property remains tight.
“Households looking for the flexibility of rental accomodation, especially students and city workers, are back in the market after consecutive lockdowns affected demand levels in major cities.
“Meanwhile, just as in the sales market, there is still a cohort of renters looking for properties offering more space, or a more rural or coastal location.”