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Rental demand climbs 6% across the UK’s major cities

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Innovative lettings management platform, Bunk, has released it’s latest look at the UK rental market and which cities are most in-demand amongst tenants and where has seen the largest uplift since Q2. 

Bunk’s index looks at rental listings across all of the major property portals, taking an average demand score for the nation’s major cities based on where has the highest number of properties already let as a percentage of all rental listings.

The research highlights where the highest level of tenant demand currently is based on this supply/demand ratio.

The UK

The latest data shows that rental demand is up 6% quarter to quarter across the UK’s major cities and for the second quarter in a row, Bristol tops the table as the most in-demand location for rental properties. Tenant demand in Bristol is currently at 67.6%, having increased a further 17.5% since Q2.

Nottingham ranks second with demand for rental stock at 54.3%, followed by Cambridge with a demand score of 50%, as well as Bournemouth (42.9%) and Portsmouth (42.8%). 

These five cities also account for the largest increases in tenant demand since Q2, with increases of between 11.2% and 18.7%. 

Aberdeen remains the least in-demand city for rental demand at 8.9%, with Edinburgh (14.8%) and Newcastle (16.5%) also propping up the bottom of the table.  

London 

London rental demand has shot up 8.2% since the second quarter of 2019 with Lewisham topping the table as the most in-demand borough at 48.4%. Bromley (46.2%), Bexley (43.7%), Havering (43.7%) and Islington (43.3%) are also amongst the most in-demand boroughs for tenant demand in Q3.

Islington has also seen the largest uplift in rental demand quarter to quarter, up 17%, while Sutton is the only borough to see a drop since Q2 – down -0.7%.

Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Camden are the boroughs home to the lowest level of current tenant demand at 13.4%, 15.4%, and 22.3% respectively.

Co-founder of Bunk, Tom Woollard, commented:

“We continue to see the UK rental sector acting as the backbone of the property market with demand for rental properties climbing yet again.  

With the start of the university term, it’s no surprise that some of the UK’s most prominent university towns have seen some of the largest uplifts in rental demand as thousands of students look to secure a place to live while studying.

For buy-to-let landlords, it remains one of the most prominent factors when deciding where to invest in a property and it’s clear why. While you can have the best yields around, they’re not worth a penny without the tenant demand to fill a property and this demand is abundant around the likes of Bristol, Notts, Cambridge, and Bournemouth.”

Top Line Q2 Q3 Change
UK Cities 25.2% 31.2% 6.0%
London 21.4% 29.6% 8.2%
       
Major UK Cities Ranked by Quarterly Demand Change
City Q2 Q3 Change
Nottingham 35.6% 54.3% 18.7%
Bristol 50.1% 67.6% 17.5%
Cambridge 33.5% 50.0% 16.4%
Bournemouth 30.3% 42.9% 12.6%
Portsmouth 31.6% 42.8% 11.2%
Glasgow 25.4% 35.1% 9.7%
Leeds 15.5% 24.1% 8.6%
London 21.4% 29.6% 8.2%
Manchester 26.4% 32.7% 6.3%
Birmingham 23.1% 28.9% 5.9%
Southampton 24.0% 29.6% 5.6%
Liverpool 18.3% 22.9% 4.6%
Leicester 24.7% 29.1% 4.4%
Newcastle 13.9% 16.5% 2.6%
Plymouth 34.5% 36.4% 1.9%
Swansea 16.3% 17.9% 1.6%
Sheffield 22.0% 23.5% 1.5%
Newport 38.7% 40.1% 1.5%
Aberdeen 8.0% 8.9% 0.9%
Edinburgh 14.3% 14.8% 0.5%
Oxford 29.0% 28.8% -0.3%
Belfast 21.2% 20.9% -0.3%
Cardiff 21.1% 19.7% -1.3%
       
London Boroughs Ranked by Quarterly Demand Change
London Borough Q2 Q3 Change
Islington 26.3% 43.3% 17.0%
Lambeth 26.2% 41.7% 15.5%
Hackney 27.3% 41.4% 14.1%
Tower Hamlets 24.1% 36.3% 12.2%
Southwark 30.9% 41.5% 10.6%
Haringey 30.3% 40.2% 9.9%
Newham 28.1% 36.8% 8.7%
Enfield 27.1% 35.5% 8.4%
Barnet 19.8% 28.1% 8.3%
Greenwich 32.9% 41.0% 8.1%
City of London 21.1% 28.9% 7.8%
Brent 19.8% 26.7% 6.9%
Hammersmith and Fulham 17.4% 24.2% 6.8%
Wandsworth 29.6% 35.9% 6.3%
Westminster 9.7% 15.4% 5.7%
Lewisham 43.0% 48.4% 5.4%
Hillingdon 27.7% 32.5% 4.8%
Camden 17.9% 22.3% 4.4%
Kensington and Chelsea 9.1% 13.4% 4.3%
Bromley 42.0% 46.2% 4.1%
Bexley 40.1% 43.7% 3.6%
Ealing 21.2% 24.5% 3.3%
Harrow 22.9% 25.7% 2.7%
Merton 37.3% 39.9% 2.6%
Barking and Dagenham 31.2% 33.1% 1.9%
Croydon 36.1% 37.9% 1.8%
Richmond upon Thames 28.1% 29.6% 1.5%
Waltham Forest 38.7% 40.0% 1.3%
Hounslow 25.6% 26.8% 1.2%
Redbridge 31.0% 32.2% 1.1%
Kingston upon Thames 30.7% 31.8% 1.1%
Havering 43.2% 43.7% 0.5%
Sutton 42.5% 41.8% -0.7%

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Property

How to winter-proof your home and avoid a huge bill!

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As the nights start getting colder, having a warm and functioning home becomes even more important.

The tradespeople comparison website for finding affordable tradespeople, HaMuch.com, has put together some advice on some of the key steps you can take to winter-proof your property, and save money in the process.

Servicing your boiler

Your boiler is your friend during winter, so top on your list should be giving it a service, which costs between £50-£100. If you need to carry out maintenance or repairs you’re looking at £80-£200.  

Meanwhile a power flush, where you remove rust and debris to clean your boiler, costs between £200-£400.

These measures are cheap as chips compared to replacing a boiler or a major part of it. In such a circumstance you could be looking at a bill of £1750-£3000.

That would put you off your Christmas pudding.

Check the roof

It’s also important to ensure your roof is in good shape before the cold comes in. You want to check for cracked or missing tiles, as well as other parts of the roof like the facia or soffit for damage.

Paying a professional to inspect the roof for you would cost £100-£200, while a minor roof tile replacement would only cost £50-£100. 

The worst-case scenario is cracked or missing tiles letting rain into the roof, causing damp and rot.

If that happened, you could be looking at anything from £50-£100 for a minor roof repair to £4,000 to replace the whole roof.

Clear gutters and drains 

Things like leaves and plants can clog gutters and drains and then lead to water damage, so a clear out before winter can be vital. Clearing debris costs an estimated £5 per metre. 

If you let it build up the blockage could lead to water damage and damp. 

In terms of replacements, in that situation, you’d be looking at £30 per metre for gutters or £25 per metre for downpipes.

The combination of repairs could amount to £200 upwards. 

Inspect and insulate water pipes

It’s worth ensuring downpipes are not cracked or split, while you could insulate pipes to stop them from freezing, getting blocked, or busting. Adding insulation by fitting pipe jackets would cost you £50 and up.

If they ended up freezing or cracking you’d suffer leakage and water damage.

To install new pipes you’d be looking at least £200 while redecorating due to the water damage could cost you between £375-£500.

Check windows and doors

It costs around £150 for a general inspection of your windows and doors. You’re checking whether they are in disrepair, while woodwork outside should also be checked to ensure there’s no rot or damage.

If you run into a problem over winter you’d need to replace damaged or unsealed windows.

Paying for a double-glazing replacement would amount to £300 (for a 1xm1m window).

Review insulation

It’s worth checking your insulation, as the loft can lose a quarter of the property’s heat if the roof is not properly insulated.

Other forms of insulation to look at include cavity wall insulation, as well as the insulation of water tanks and pipes.

For a blanket insulation replacement, you’d be looking at just £80, which could save you money in the long run. Indeed, it could save you £250 a year if you improve the energy efficiency of your home.


Installing a full loft insulation costs between £275-£500.

Radiator checks

It’s worth checking your radiators are working, while it costs just £80 to have a plumber bleed (remove excess air from the pipes) 5-10 radiators. 

This could increase the efficiency of the radiator and remove the need for a replacement. Buying a new radiator costs around £180-£200.

The chimney

It’s worth cleaning out any obstructions or blockages with your chimney if you have a fireplace, which costs £50-£90.

Leaving it alone risks chimney fires, which can be costly and dangerous.

Owing to the varying severity of a fire it’s hard to put a figure on how much it would cost you – though it’s clearly an issue you’d want to avoid.

“Prevention is so much better than a cure,” says Tarquin Purdie, Founder of HaMuch.com.

“At this time of year it’s wise to think about mitigating the things that so often go wrong as boilers are cranked up again, fireplaces stoked, and bare pipes exposed to the rigours of winter’s elements. Our suggested measures are sensible precautions that householders can carry out for themselves in most instances, although you may be surprised how little a professional might charge you to carry out the checks quickly and properly. Either way, it will certainly be at a lower cost than waiting for a leaking tile or burst pipe to ruin your week and your bank balance”. 

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