Research by estate and lettings agent, Barrows and Forrester, has revealed that tenant demand has started to climb across the rental market, with West Yorkshire enjoying the largest uplift in demand at +10%.

The Barrows and Forrester Rental Demand Index monitors rental listings across the nation, taking an average demand score for each English county based on the number of properties already let as a percentage of all rental listings.

Rental demand across England is currently sitting at 39%, having shown a slight 1% quarterly increase when compared to the first quarter of this year.

While the rental market has struggled during the pandemic, it seems as though tenants are now returning and West Yorkshire has enjoyed the largest rental market revival with a 10% quarterly increase.

South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Dorset have also enjoyed some of the largest quarterly rental market revivals with a +6% increase when compared to Q1 of this year.

Dorset is also home to some of the highest current demand for rental homes, with 62% of those listed on the market in Q2 already seeing a let agreed.

In fact, just West Sussex is currently seeing a greater level of tenant demand at 66%, while Bristol (60%) also makes the top three hottest rental markets in Q2.

However, no less than 21 counties have seen rental demand either remain flat or decline since the start of the year.

Cornwall has seen the largest reduction, down -11% quarter to quarter, with Herefordshire (-10%) and Suffolk (-9%) also seeing some of the largest declines.

Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented:

“Demand for rental properties is once again starting to climb and while tenant activity still remains muted in some corners of the country, the vast majority of the market has blown away any remaining cobwebs caused by a pandemic decline in demand.

We expect this appetite for private rental stock will only strengthen as the year progresses as a return to normality has revived the need for rental homes across our major cities, in particular.”

Data Tables

Rental demand sourced from the major portals and based on the percentage of total rental properties listed that have already had a let agreed.

View the full data tables online here.