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Rental hotspots – the demand

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If you are about to buy to let or thinking about expanding your rental portfolio, you are probably aware of the strong demand for accommodation in the private rented sector.

But where in the country is that demand strongest? Where might you want to invest in order to be sure of a long queue of potential tenants eager to move into your buy to let property?

An article in Residential Landlord recently offers some clues – based on a recent survey of 23 UK cities and every London borough:

UK overall

  • cities with the strongest demand – where more than 30% of all advertised rentals have already been taken up – include Newport in Wales (35%), Bristol (34%), Nottingham (33%) and Cambridge (33%);
  • completing the top ten hotspots in terms of demand and the proportion of vacant lettings already filled, are Belfast (25%), Plymouth (23%), Portsmouth (23%), Bournemouth (23%), Leicester (18%), and Manchester (18%);
  • among the places where it currently appears most difficult to find tenants for your buy to let property are Aberdeen, Swansea and Leeds – where only 5%, 8% and 9% respectively of advertised rentals have so far been taken up by tenants;


  • the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Lewisham, and Sutton are all areas of Greater London where 38% of available tenancies have already been filled;
  • Merton, Croydon, Greenwich, Haringey, Enfield and Kingston are close runners-up with the proportion of filled vacancies around 30%; while
  • the high property prices – and, therefore, rents – of Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Camden, the City of London, and Hammersmith and Fulham all have the lowest number of properties let as a percentage of total properties listed.

There is undoubtedly strong demand for affordable rental accommodation throughout the UK. If you are intending to invest in buy to let property, it may pay to choose those areas where current demand appears strongest.