Huge supply and demand imbalance in London


The number of prospective London tenants has trebled in less than two years, while available rooms to rent have fallen.

Since the pandemic lockdown of early 2021 the number of people intending to rent a room in London has increased to 106,000.

However over the same period, the number of available rental rooms has shrunk to less than 15,000, data from SpareRoom shows.

Rupert Hunt, chief executive officer at SpareRoom, said in a Bloomberg report: “For a lot of people, the products that they were relying on disappeared overnight
“They will be renting for longer.”

More than seven people are actively looking at each room available in London, roughly double the rate of almost four people in the rest of the country.

Demand typically comes from students and professionals returning to London.

Research from rental platform Ocasa reveals that Britain’s rental stock has declined by more than 40% in the past three years.

Despite this supply-demand imbalance mortgage costs are rising at a greater rate than rents, according to estate agency body Propertymark.

Nathan Emerson said: “What the rents haven’t done is doubled in price like mortgage payments are doing at the moment.”

Jack Godby, sales and marketing director at Ocasa, said: “Stock is dwindling – a 40% nationwide decline in available rental homes in just three years is remarkable and more than a little concerning.

“For one thing, it means that demand is going to be incredibly high leading to a very competitive market. This will inevitably lead to rising rent values which, at a time when we have a cost-of-living crisis, is going to add additional stress to those who are already struggling to stay afloat.

“It’s a shame that we are in a situation where the financial security of so many people and families is now dependent on private landlords not taking advantage of this dwindling supply and hiking their prices.”

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