These Towns Are The UK’s New Rental Hotspots

Photographed by Meg O'Donnell
By now, we all know that the pandemic made many people leave London, at least temporarily, in pursuit of a quieter life by the coast or somewhere more peaceful.
Though big cities are starting to feel buzzier again, this trend looks set to continue. In fact, according to the latest report from Zoopla, rents outside of London are rising at their fastest rate in 13 years. The average monthly rent for a property outside of London is now £790 – up from £752 a year ago. 
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In the towns of Wigan in Greater Manchester and Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, rents have risen by 10.5% and 10% respectively year-on-year, making them the UK's new rental hotspots.
In Hastings on the south coast, Blackburn in Lancashire, Barnsley in South Yorkshire and Norwich in Norfolk, they're up more than 9% year-on-year. In the southwest of England – home to many in-demand coastal villages – rents are up 6.8% year-on-year across the region as a whole.
Kate Earles of rental agency Strutt & Parker said in response to the findings: "The recovery in the rental market has, in many ways, mirrored the boom in the sales market, with people looking for homes that accommodate a different set of needs shaped by their lockdown experience.
"Lack of stock and high demand are inevitably driving price growth. This stock depletion is a result in part of many accidental landlords having now sold their properties – benefiting from the soaring demand in the sales market."
Increased demand for rental properties isn't just forcing up prices – it's also making the market extremely competitive for prospective tenants. According to Zoopla, the average time between listing a property for rent and agreeing a tenancy is now just 15 days, compared with 20 in July of last year.
So if you're looking for a rental property in the next few months, brace yourself for some fast decision-making. Best of luck!

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