Savills’ residential lettings team has reported significantly increased demand for homes to let in Reading in 2022.

The team has reported an uplift of 80 per cent in new applicants in the week to June 6, compared with the same period last year.

According to Rightmove data, despite the appetite for rental property in the area, available stock has reduced by a third within the same time period. This growing gap in supply and demand has prompted an increasingly competitive market.

Gordon Hood (pictured above), head of Savills’ residential lettings department in Reading, said: “In recent years we have seen a notable uptick of interest in Reading as a place to live, with a particular surge this year.

“This has coincided with a widening of the gap in supply versus demand, with only 449 homes listed as available on Rightmove during the week to June 6, compared with 698 at the same point in 2021.

“This imbalance is putting continued upward pressure on rents, and creating strong competition, with tenancies often being secured as a result of competitive bidding.

‘It is a theme that runs across the market, from studio apartments through to substantial family homes. For example, we recently let a one bedroom apartment at 300 Kings Road (pictured below) within a week of taking it to market, during which time it attracted 14 viewings and four offers.

“Family homes are in particularly short supply, which is presenting tenants with a real challenge as they look to secure a home and move into the area ahead of the new school year in September.

“In June, we marketed two properties; a large farmhouse and a cottage, within the grounds of an estate, with both attracting considerable interest from local, national and international tenants. Tenancies were secured within 10 days with some bidders submitting offers without a physical viewing.”

Looking ahead, Savills is forecasting the rate of growth on rental property across the commuter belt to slow over the coming years, as more stock returns to the market. In the prime market, regulatory changes and new requirements relating to energy performance certificates, may present a challenge to landlords, however Savills forecasts incremental growth of up to 5.6 per cent over the next five years.

Mr Hood said: “With the reality of Crossrail arriving in town, along with the increasing popularity of Reading in terms of the quality of life on offer, I think we will continue to see a strong level of tenant demand over the rest of the year and beyond.”

Image immediately above shows 300 King’s Road where a one-bedroom flat was let within a week of taking it to market, after 14 viewings and four offers.

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