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Shock figures show lettings market running out of homes to rent

The availability of stock within the owner-occupied market is now back to a pre-pandemic norm, but the reverse is true for the lettings market.   

Figures from property consultancy TwentyCi reveal a five per cent increase in new instructions to the owner-occupied market in 2022 and a 14 per cent drop in sales agreed which together have resulted in a significant easing of stock available across all regions of the UK. 

Most areas now have five months or more of supply, which is more than double the levels in some regions during 2021. This is far closer to the number of houses available for sale back in 2019 prior to the onslaught of Covid-19. 


Inner London and Wales have the most available stock with over six months, whilst Scotland and the Northeast currently have the least at around four and a half months of stock each. Despite this easing of the supply squeeze, house prices have remained buoyant, 8.4 per cent higher than in 2019, but down from the peak recorded in Q2 2022.   

In contrast, new instructions within the lettings market are down by almost eight per cent compared to 2021 and by over 25 per cent since 2019. 

TwentyCi says landlords are rapidly withdrawing from the market as tax, regulatory and cost environments have become less favourable.  

Apart from Inner London, which currently has four and a half months of lettings property stock on the books, all regions sit between 1.5 and three months of rental homes available. Renters in Scotland and Northern Ireland are in the most precarious situation. Lack of supply is further compounded on the demand side as tenants are deferring decisions to buy because of the cost-of-living crisis. 

This pressure has resulted in average monthly asking rent reaching £1,652, an increase of £200 since 2021 and almost £300 since the ‘norm’ of 2019.  

TwentyCi produces these figures in a New Year report which also shows that the market share of Hybrid/Online Agents overall was 7.3 per cent in 2022, down from the peak of 8.2 in 2019. 

Their share of the market is just 1.1 per cent in properties being sold for £1m or more and 5.3 per cent for homes within the £350,000 to £1m bracket. 

TwentyCi managing director Colin Bradshaw says: “2022 was a turbulent year when the widely anticipated housing market re-calibration began to take effect. We’ve seen some key shifts; most markedly in the stock situations for both the owner-occupied and lettings markets. With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to deepen, 2023 looks set to be another fast-changing year and it will be important to keep on top of market trends.” 

  • icon
    • A W
    • 26 January 2023 08:50 AM

    With threats of rent controls, increased EPC remedial costs and whatever idiotic legislative decisions the government are soon to make... why wouldn't landlords leave the market?

  • Billy the Fish

    So if you don't have a deposit, can't afford a mortgage and can't afford the increasing rent for dwindling supply where exactly are you supposed to live?

  • Neil Moores

    @ Billy the fish.
    Rent a room in a shared house…….
    Oops, just remembered, councils are trying to reduce the number of HMOs too!

  • Kristjan Byfield

    We have had one available listing in the whole of Jan- which went in 24 hours with 5 offers all above asking. The government's attack on the PRS is working and action groups keep targeting the wrong people- landlords & agents.


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