Demand for homes to rent in Cornwall up 345 per cent in two years

Cornwall has seen a 72% fall in the number of rental properties available in the last two years, putting it among the top ten locations in the country.

Despite the hefty drop, however, it still doesn’t put Cornwall at the top of the list, with this going to the Isle of Wight.

In fact, Cornwall is only ninth out of ten areas with the biggest declines – although it could be argued that the Duchy has been seeing this decline happening for a lot longer than two years, and so already had a head start on the other areas, before 2019.

And it is also third out of ten in that same list, for the amount of competition per property, with a 345% increase in tenant competition for available properties.

The figures have come from Rightmove, which has found competition among tenants for available properties is quadruple that of 2019 on average in the top ten areas, and in some cases as much as six times higher, as some landlords temporarily switch to short-lets.

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, holiday resorts make up a large proportion of the top ten list of most affected areas.

But the property website predicts stock levels will start to be replenished over the next few months, as summer holidays end and landlords look to secure long-term tenants.

The new data reveals the effect the staycation boom is having on the rental market across Great Britain.

Seaside towns and other holiday resorts have seen the biggest decline in available properties to rent when compared with the summer of 2019, with the Isle of Wight topping the list with a fall of 82% in available rental stock.

The analysis of over 400,000 rental listings compares available rental stock in June and July 2021 with June and July 2019, to measure current rental availability against pre-pandemic levels.

The shortages have led to a surge in competition among tenants who are looking for a long-term place to rent, with an average uplift of 317% in tenant demand for each property across the ten areas that have seen the biggest declines.

The change in tenant competition is measured by the number of tenants enquiring in an area on Rightmove compared to the number of available rental properties in that area.

Competition is more than six times higher in Blackpool (+517%) and has more than quadrupled in the Isle of Wight (+376%) and Cornwall (+345%).

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “Landlords in the typical tourist destinations around Britain have been chasing the huge surge in demand for holiday lets this summer, which has led to a temporary drop in the stock available for permanent tenants.

“However, as the summer holidays are coming to an end, agents are now reporting more landlords turning their attention to longer-term tenants as a more secure and stable option for the rest of the year and into 2022.

“The value of a good tenant should not be underestimated, and with the competition for rental properties in these areas so high right now, it could be a good time for landlords to take stock and consider their best longer term option.”

Lawrence Williams, head of lettings at Webbers Property Services in Devon & Cornwall, said he was not surprised to see a post-lockdown demand for staycations increase pressure on rental stock.

“Limited stock means more tenants here have chosen to stay in their existing property and sign a longer term agreement, and in turn that means fewer properties have become available.

“As international holiday destinations re-open some people will choose to holiday abroad instead of in the UK and we do then expect to see some property switch from holiday letting to long-term tenancies, which in the short-term would certainly help to ease local pressures and demand which is at a record high,” he added.

The complete top ten list is:

Decline in available rental stock and increase in tenant competition for available properties

Isle of Wight -82% +376%

North Devon -80% +292%

West Devon -76% +264%

Northumberland -74% +253%

Blackpool -74% +517%

Torridge -73% +335%

South Tyneside -73% +341%

Neath Port Talbot -73% +172%

Cornwall -72% +345%

North Tyneside -72% +279%

  • Available rental stock compares June and July 2021 with June and July 2019
  • Tenant competition compares July 2021 with July 2019, measured by the number of tenants enquiring in an area on Rightmove compared to the number of available rental properties in that area

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