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Urgent Need for More Landlords as Only 49% of Rental Homes Immediately Available

Recent analysis by Zero Deposit has unveiled a critical shortfall in the availability of rental homes in England, with less than half of the properties listed on the market ready for immediate occupancy. This gap underscores the pressing need for more landlords in the sector.

Immediate Availability Concerns
Zero Deposit’s study of nearly 128,000 current rental listings revealed that only 49% of these properties are immediately available for tenants. This situation presents significant challenges for renters eager to move quickly. Additionally, 16% of the rental stock will become available within a month, while 11% will take up to three months. Alarmingly, almost a quarter of the listings (24%) are not expected to be available for as long as six months or more.

The analysis highlights considerable regional variations. The West Midlands leads with 56% of rental stock available immediately, followed closely by the East of England and London, with 53% and 52% respectively. In contrast, the North East emerges as the region in most urgent need of additional rental properties, with only 42% of current listings available immediately and 35% not ready for occupancy for six months or more.

Regional Disparities and Market Dynamics
The South East also struggles with immediate availability, where only 44% of rental homes are ready for tenants, and 25% of properties will not be available for at least six months. These figures highlight the acute regional disparities in rental market dynamics and the broader implications for housing mobility across the country.

Sam Reynolds, CEO of Zero Deposit, commented on the findings, emphasizing the critical state of the rental market: “Rental market supply is arguably the biggest issue within the sector today and such is the demand for rental homes that many are being listed to let before they are even available.”

Call for Government Action
Reynolds further criticized the government’s recent approach to the rental sector, particularly its impact on buy-to-let investors: “This demonstrates the severe imbalance between supply and demand and really does highlight the need to encourage more landlords into the sector, and provide sufficient incentives for them to stay there, in order to provide the vital rental homes needed.”

He concluded, “Unfortunately, the Government is yet to realise the error of its ways in deterring buy-to-let investors in recent years and until they do, we’re unlikely to see the landscape change for the better.”

The findings from Zero Deposit not only spotlight the immediate need for more rental properties but also call for a reassessment of policies affecting landlords and investors in the housing market.