Britain’s private rented sector has developed unevenly with some areas having experienced a trebling of rented properties and other areas even declining according to the UK’s largest property franchise company, Martin & Co.
Martin & Co’s research team has been trawling through the final release of official statistics from the 2011 census. These show that the private rented sector grew by more than one million households in the 10 years 2001 to 2011; but the growth was uneven.
Central Manchester experienced the biggest growth, with private renting tripling from 4,145 to 17,669 households. Glasgow was another city that saw a big rise with a 113.89% increase from 5,746 to 12,290 households. “Glasgow city centre has seen the number of private rental households doubling, and even more growth is expected in the area due to the upcoming Commonwealth Games,” said Chief Executive at Martin & Co, Ian Wilson.
Kingswood in Bristol experienced a 110.28% increase from 3,754 to 7,894 and Newport saw a 104.84% increase from 5,790 to 11,860.This level of increase was also experienced in Gosport, Hampshire with a 111.61% increase from 2,730 to 5,777.
The bottom areas for growth in private renting are Guildford with only a 1.52% increase in private rented households; Oxford with a 3.43% increase, Balham 3.62% increase, Winchester 3.72% increase and Maidenhead experienced a 4.17% increase.
Only two UK towns experienced a decrease in private renting being Harrogate with a 7.38% reduction from 11,396to 10,555 and Brighton with a 6.47% reduction from 23,785 to 22,247, although the Brighton rental market remains one of the biggest in the country.
Overall, the North West of the county came out on top (48.84% increase), with Wales and West Country (46.92% increase) following, leaving Yorkshire (23.72% increase) and South London (17.15% increase) lagging behind. However, North London experienced a 38.80% increase.
Martin & Co CEO, Ian Wilson said: “There is a joke about research findings that half of it you thought you knew already and the other half you don’t believe! The census results are a fascinating mosaic. It’s no surprise that the percentage growth in Manchester was so strong as former industrial buildings were being converted into residential accommodation, and large parts of these were purchased by investors.
“Lately, investment in private renting has been driven mainly by rental returns, certainly outside of prime central London. Now that capital values are on the move again I suspect we will see some speculative investment in cities where there is anticipated capital growth. Some of the southern cities, which saw modest increases in private renting during the census period, may be of renewed interest.
“At Martin & Co we appear to be good at picking the rental hotspots as overall we experienced a 33.18% increase in the private rented housing stock in the localities which our offices cover compared to the national average increase of 30.88%.”