Fresh figures from Howsy has revealed the most in-demand cities to rent property in the United Kingdom, with some surprising findings.
The rental management platform analysed demand across 23 major UK cities as well as each borough of London, based on the proportion of rental listings that had already been snapped up by renters as a percentage of all listings available online.
The study found when it comes to existing demand, Newport is home to the highest level of tenant demand with 35% of all rental homes listed on the major portals already let.
Other highly ranked in-demand cities for rental properties include Bristol at 34%, Nottingham (33%), Cambridge (33%) and Belfast (25%).
Elsewhere, Plymouth (23%), Portsmouth (23%), Bournemouth (23%), Leicester (18%) and Manchester (18%) complete the top 10.
Aberdeen remains the least sought after area for rental properties in the UK with tenant demand at 5% followed by Swansea (8%) and Leeds (9%).
In London, Bexley, Bromley, Sutton and Lewisham are the hottest boroughs for tenants straight off the bat in 2020, with 38% of all rental stock listed online already being snapped up.
Merton (32%), Croydon (31%), Greenwich (30%), Haringey (29%), Enfield (29%) and Kingston (27%) are also amongst the most popular.
The high financial barrier of rental costs is evident at the top end of the ladder with Kensington and Chelsea (7%), Westminster (7%), Camden (11%), the City of London (12%) and Hammersmith and Fulham (13%) all ranking with the lowest number of properties let as a percentage of total properties listed.
Calum Brannan, founder and CEO of Howsy, said: “The buy-to-let sector may have had a rough ride of late but the UK rental market is still heavily relied upon by many in order to put a roof over their head and as a result, many cities still provide a great opportunity for buy-to-let investors due to the lower levels of available stock and consistently high tenant demand.
“When looking to invest, this combination of high demand, an affordable initial cost and a good rental yield should all be considered in order to maximise a return. For those that do their research and tick these boxes, bricks and mortar remains a very sound investment despite attempts to dampen the financial return via stamp duty hikes and changes to tax relief.
“Hopefully, a newly refreshed Government will realise that the buy-to-let landlord is the backbone of the UK rental market and we need to encourage investment into the sector rather than deter it.”