The shortage of rental properties in the UK continues to be an ongoing issue in 2019 and there is no sign of any improvement, with July seeing the housing supply fall by over 3%
The survey from online estate agent House Simple revealed that the housing supply dropped by 3.3% and around 59,710 new properties listed on the market.
Although these figures suggest that July is one of the strongest months in the year so far, the UK housing supply is still nowhere where it needs to be to meet current demand.
According to the study, the regions that saw the biggest drop in supply were Wales (7.1%), the North East (6.9%) and the London borough of Bexley saw a staggering drop of 15.%. The property supply in the midlands saw on a steady rise, with the East and West Midlands seeing an increase of 1.5% and 0.1% in the number of properties being listed respectively.
The strain on the UK housing supply can be attributed to several factors. It was recently reported that the government is struggling to meet its housing target. According to data published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the rate of houses being built in the second quarter of 2019 were down by 9% from the previous quarter and a 9% decrease from the year before. This is forcing prospective homeowners to stay in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) for longer than they had anticipated. The issue isn’t just affecting the younger generations either - according to figures from Hamptons International, the number of older renters has risen by 61% since 2012.
The PRS is also feeling the strain of a housing shortage. Since the introduction of the tenant fee ban in June, there has been a sharp rise in tenants looking for a new home. According to data from Rightmove, there was a 7% increase of people looking for private rental homes between May and June. The surge in tenant demand has also caused asking rents to sky-rocket in various parts of the country - which will be welcome news for buy to let investors.
With a new Prime Minister in power, all eyes are on whether the government can address the housing issue in the UK. In the meantime, there will continue to be a strong demand for rental homes, which makes it the perfect time to invest in buy to let properties.