Over half of landlords say tenant demand has been stable this year

Bob Young

More than half of landlords maintain that tenant demand is no higher than it was six months ago, according to CHL Mortgages.

Some 35% say demand increased in the first half of this year but 55% say it has stayed the same.

Bob Young, managing director of CHL, says: “Rental demand not only appears to be holding up but increasing.

“This is likely to continue to be the case, given the government’s reliance on the private rental sector to plug the housing gap.”

Chris Norris, policy manager at the National Landlords Association, says: “Our data broadly reflects CHL’s figures. The rental market is strong but it’s not running away with itself.

“Most landlords have a long-term business plan and are content to ride the ups and down of the market for the time being.”

Andy Young, chief executive of The Business Mortgage Company, agrees but adds that he’s surprised so many landlords say tenant demand has remained static.

He says: “With mortgages for first-time buyers difficult to come by an increasing number of consumers are turning to the rental sector. I’m surprised that only 35% say demand has increased because my feeling is that more are seeing market conditions improve.”

CHL’s findings also show only 19% of landlords have had a void period in the past six months, down from 28% in the previous six months.

But the survey indicates that a quarter of landlords are unsure about the future, up from 9% in the previous six months. The number of those feeling positive fell from 81% to 64%.

There has also been a 10% decline in the number of landlords looking for extra properties to 28%, with the rest looking to sit tight with what they have.