UK rental market booms, growing at faster rate than homes for sale

news release

UK rental market booms, growing at faster rate than homes for sale

Homes coming on to the market for sale valued at £500k+ see biggest growth
Young singles have the greatest choice of properties to rent or buy

Nottingham, UK, 30 October 2013 – The latest Quarterly Property Index from Experian®, the global information services company, has revealed that the number of properties listed ‘to let’ in the UK increased by 13 per cent in Q3 (July-September) 2013, compared to the same quarter last year.  Compared to the last three years, the number of properties appearing for rent has increased by 42 per cent.  

The analysis, which offers an insight into the UK housing market to enable financial service providers to understand how consumers' financial needs are changing, revealed the number of properties coming to market for sale saw a 7 per cent growth in the same period, and 10 per cent increase in the last three years.

High end properties attract interest across the UK
The increase in properties for sale across the UK continued to be led by homes valued at over £500,000 - up 13 per cent in Q3 2013 year on year – with every region except the North East seeing an increase in this price band.  The majority of these properties were in London and the South East (33 per cent and 20 per cent of all high end homes listed for sale in the UK).  The biggest year-on-year increase came from the West Midlands which saw the number of homes priced at £500,000 or more increase by 24 per cent from Q3 2012 to Q3 2013.

The number of more affordable homes for sale (those priced at less than £100,000) increased at a slower rate – up 7 per cent during the same period.

Location, location, location
Scotland was the only area to buck the nationwide rental trend, witnessing a decline in the number of properties coming on to the rental market over the last year.  It did, however, see the number of ‘for sale’ properties increase the most – up 16 per cent – and was one of the cheapest places to buy a home in the UK, with the second largest number of properties for sale under £100,000.

Other highlights:

  • Wales also experienced a 16 per cent increase in the number of properties for sale between Q3 2012 to Q3 2013.
  • London and London’s Outer Metropolitan region were the only areas in the UK to see stagnation in the ¬sale market, with the number of total available properties falling one per cent and two per cent respectively year-on-year.
  • The number of homes to rent increased most in these areas - up 20 per cent and 29 per cent.
  • The North East also experienced a high increase in rental properties listed – up by 21 per cent.

Who is selling property now?
Experian’s analysis of property data using its Mosaic people classification revealed that during Q3 2013 (in comparison to Q3 2012), the largest increase in properties for sale was in neighbourhoods populated mainly by Upper Floor Living (up 16 per cent) - young, mostly single people on limited incomes, renting small flats.  The increase was driven by properties worth over £500,000 (up 59 per cent), highlighting investment opportunities for landlords to buy large properties and rent them out to these individuals.

These neighbourhoods also saw among the biggest increases in more affordable homes (under £100,000).  With the introduction of the Government’s new ‘Help to Buy' scheme, this highlights a greater choice of properties for this Mosaic group, whether they are considering buying or renting. 

Neighbourhoods populated by the Professional Rewards and Small Town Diversity groups - injected the most fluidity into the property market.  Professional Rewards are people who hold senior positions at work, have significant equity in their homes and are usually married with children.  They were responsible for 11 per cent of the total number of homes ‘for sale’ in Q3 2013, mainly driving the market for homes falling into the £250,000-£500,000 price band. 

Small Town Diversity is a more traditional, mostly mature generation with lower incomes than the national average, living in small towns.  They accounted for 11 per cent of all homes for sale, but dominated the £100,000 to £250,000 price band. 

Jonathan Westley, Managing Director of Consumer Information Services at Experian UK & Ireland, comments: “Significant growth in the rental market could be a sign of the on- struggle to get onto the home ownership ladder, but it is also consistent with the pickup in ‘buy-to-let’ activity over the past year. With that in mind, the continuing increase of properties for sale at the top end of the market may be driven by interest from both buy-to-let investors, as well as foreign investors.

“Our analysis suggests greater choice for first time buyers, so it will be interesting to see what our data reveals in the coming months as the Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme gets going.  As we await the impact on the property market, this insight is vital for lenders wanting to understand better the pressures or changes impacting their customers.”


Notes to editors
Experian’s Quarterly Property Index sources data from a range of UK sales & letting agents.

Maddy Morgan Williams / Philippa Williamson
Lansons Communications
020 7490 8828 / 

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2013 was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

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