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England’s out of kilter property market – rental stock accounts for just 5% of available homes in some areas of England

by | Mar 27, 2023

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Research by the Gradual Homeownership provider, Wayhome, has highlighted the imbalance of the property market across England when it comes to the current level of rental stock versus that available to homebuyers, with rental properties accounting for just 5% of current market listings in some areas of the market. 

Wayhome analysed the state of the market based on what percentage of properties currently listed online were available to rent, versus the proportion that were up for sale. 

There’s no denying that we’re a nation of homeowners and the latest figures on tenure show that there are almost 15.6m owner occupiers across England, accounting for 64% of the total market. However, while renters make up the remaining 36%, Wayhome has found that the market is way out of kilter when it comes to the proportion of rental homes available, and by some margin. 


Their research shows that there are currently a combined 758,351 rental and sales properties listed across the market in England. 619,942 of these are homes listed for sale versus 138,409 being available for rent. This means that today, housing market stock accounts for 82% of all homes listed, versus just 18% for rental market stock. 

However, in some areas of the market, this balance is skewed even further towards the sales market and nowhere more so than in the Isle of Wight, where available rental properties account for just 5% of total market stock. 

In Herefordshire, available rental properties make up just 6% of all current property listings, with Cumbria (7%), Cornwall (7%) and Northumberland (7%) also seeing rental market stock sit below 10% of total homes available in the current market. 


Across a further 26 counties, rental property availability equates to less than the national benchmark of 18%. 

The most balanced area of the property market is the City of London, where current homes for sale versus current homes to let sits at an even 50/50 split. 

The West Midlands follows the City of London, although rental properties across the county account for just 31% of all homes currently listed for either rent or sale.


Co-founder and CEO of Wayhome, Nigel Purves, commented: “The imbalance of available property stock really highlights everything that is wrong with the property market in England and demonstrates why so many aspiring homeowners find it impossible to make the jump between the rental sector and buying for themselves. 

“On the one hand, the high cost of renting makes it very difficult to accumulate a mortgage deposit in the first place. At the same time, the stock supply balance is currently out of kilter and while renters make up over a third of those living within the housing market, rental stock forms less than fifth of homes currently available on the market. 

“The result of this disproportionate stock availability is far greater demand for rental properties which only pushes the cost of renting ever higher, making it even more difficult to make the move from one sector to another. What’s more, the government’s has consistently looked to dampen the financial return available to buy-to-let landlords, which has only reduced the level of stock further, to the detriment of the nation’s tenants. 


“Gradual Homeownership was designed to act as a stepping stone between the two, allowing those who would otherwise remain stranded as a tenant to secure equity in the home of their choice while giving them the opportunity to increase this equity as and when they are able to.”

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