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Renters in race for a home – properties snapped up 10 days more quickly than pre-pandemic | Personal Finance | Finance

Renters are involved in a fierce battle for homes with the result properties are quickly disappearing from the market.
Two-bedroom rental homes are listed on Zoopla for an average of 25 days, some 10 days less than the pre-pandemic average, according to the estate agency Savills.
The problem comes against the background of the fact that many buy to let landlords are selling up because high interest rates and tax changes means it is less profitable.
This has left more young people fighting over the properties that are available, which is pushing up rents.
Data analysts at Savills compared listings on Zoopla of properties to rent in the 2019 calendar year, and the 12 months to March this year. They found the average listing time for a two-bedroom flat in Britain fell from 35 days in 2019 to 25 days in the last year

Competition is even greater in some regions. In the North West of England, a two-bed flat was listed for 37 days in 2019, and has since halved to 18 days.

The average is now 15 days in Scotland, where a policy of rent control has been in place.
The same trend is seen with larger properties – three-bedroom houses were listed for an average of 39 days in 2019, but for 32 days now, with sharper falls in some areas

Agents in areas with the most intense competition say the situation is unprecedented, and potential tenants need to be even more fleet-footed.

Darren Kay, director at TVG Lettings in Liverpool told the BBC: “We can list a property one day, it can have 500 views that day online, we could have 50 enquiries online, following that there are viewings and it is gone within seven days,”

The situation is unlikely to change anytime soon, according to Richard Valentine-Selsey, director of residential research at Savills.

“There is not enough supply coming on to the market, and we need more investment in the sector to bring more homes available to rent,” he said.

Adrian Draude, 32, said he and his wife were ill-prepared for the level of competition they faced when searching for a flat after returning from their honeymoon.

He told the BBC: “We found properties [on listings sites] that were the perfect fit, saved them for later, went back that day and they had already disappeared.”

They have recently found a place in Guildford, Surrey, but Adrian described the process as “aggravating”.

“You’d see a place – one minute it was there, and the next it had gone.”

The couple needed to rent because house prices and high mortgage rates had “turned our dream of owning our own home into a distant fantasy”, Adrian said.

They had been saving diligently for years. To do so, he moved back in with his parents for three years.

Returning to, or extending a stay in, the family home is one impact of rapidly rising rents, battles to find property in the lettings sector, and the high cost of becoming a first-time buyer.

Official figures revealed 3.6 million people aged between 20 and 34, including a third of young men, were living with their parents last year.

Industry leaders warn that the number of properties available to rent may be set to fall, rather than go up.

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) said its survey of members revealed that 31 percent of those asked said they planned to cut the number of properties they rented out, compared with nine percent who planned to increase their offer.

“Landlords selling up is the single biggest challenge renters face. The only answer is to ensure responsible landlords have the confidence to stay in the market and sustain tenancies,” said Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA.

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