The UK rental market saw a 6.34 % increase in the number of properties advertised between January and March 2012 compared with the same period last year, according to global information services company, Experian.
It also found that the number of properties for sale dropped by 2.53 percent.
Experian’s Movers Index shows that the number of properties advertised for rent during the first quarter was a massive 172,290 properties. In January alone, more than 60,000 properties were added to the rental market.
In contrast, the overall number of homes added to the market for sale dropped from 191,892 in Q1 2011 to 187,046 in Q1 2012. January 2012 saw 55,284 properties marketed for resale, increasing to 63,177 in February and 68,585 in March.
In the rental marketplace many regions saw notable uplifts in the number of homes to let, with the North West taking the top spot with a 12.98 % increase closely followed by the West Midlands at 12.49 %.
Not all areas flourished, however, with the East Midlands and Scotland seeing decreases of 3.57 % and 1.85 % respectively.
London in particular saw a huge difference in the number of rental vs sale properties added to the market in the first quarter. The capital saw 35,789 properties to let, almost double the number of properties put up for sale (19,996) and making up 20 percent of all rental properties in the UK.
Flats were the most popular property type in the rental market taking the lion’s share of the market with almost 40 percent. A total of 67,500 flats were rented from January to March this year, compared to 21,806 semi-detached houses and 20,920 terraced houses.
Two-bedroom properties also featured as the most popular rentals taking 35.61 % of the market compared to the second most popular choice of three-bedroom properties at 25.62 %.
Jonathan Westley, MD of Consumer Information Services at Experian UK & Ireland, said: “The increase in rental homes in the first quarter of this year and the decline in resale properties illustrates how consumer’s financial needs are changing.
“The increase in tenants further emphasises the importance of rental payments being taken into consideration for those trying to obtain credit, something that Experian has spearheaded with the launch of the Rental Exchange.”