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Countrywide new tenant applications reach record levels

01-21-2011 09:24 PM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: Countrywide

The number of new tenants registering for rental accommodation exceeded 200,000 last year as demand reached record levels in 2010[1]; report Countrywide, the UK's largest letting agent and property services Group.

The latest figures from Countrywide's network of 1,300 estate agency and lettings branches reveals that the overall volume of new tenant applications in 2010 increased by 37 percent compared to 2009 with demand peaking between July and September. In contrast the average number of properties available to let fell -29 percent in 2010 compared to the previous year.

Figures from Countrywide's mortgage division; the UK's largest mortgage broker; also show that the biggest growth area of lending growth in 2010 was applications for buy-to-let mortgages, with applications jumping 22 percent during 2010.

Grenville Turner, Chief Executive of Countrywide, the UK's largest property services Group, said;
"The continued challenges faced by homebuyers to gain mortgage finance is likely to see more people turning to the private rental sector this year. Despite the increase in buy-to-let lending, supply remains significantly lower than demand, with an average of 4.5 tenants vying for every available property in 2010.

"During 2009 there were 2.3 tenants for every available rental property, which demonstrates the upward shift in demand we're experiencing. This could soon reach critical levels as limited mortgage availability continues to stifle the market and the impact of the government's austerity measures on social housing and employment kicks in."

Grenville added:
"Despite the severe weather conditions, which accentuated the traditional seasonal slowdown, a new wave of committed house sellers registered their homes for sale during December.
"New sales instructions out-performed December 2009 levels by 2.6 percent – an overall increase of 9 percent during 2010[2]. However, buyer enquiries fell 5 percent year-on-year, which could be attributed to the chronic lack of mortgage funding for those unable to afford a typical deposit of 22 percent.[3]

"We expect lending in the first half of 2011 to stay flat, which will intensify the dilemma facing thousands of buyers struggling to raise deposits and existing home owners considering to remortgage as pressure mounts for the Bank of England to increase interest rates."
Market Insight – December 2010

Mortgages: (based on the activities of the UK's largest mortgage broker with approximately 650 mortgage consultants)

o Applications: Restrictive mortgage funding and lending criteria saw the overall number of mortgage applications fall by 10 percent during 2010 compared to 2009. Applications for buy-to-let mortgages made up 14 percent of all mortgage applications, which mirrored November's figures.

o Remortgage: The growth seen in remortgage applications over the last three months dipped by 2 percent in December compared to the previous month. Remortgage applications made up 27 percent of all mortgage applications in December 2010, a 9 percent increase on December 2009.

o Interest rates: The average interest rate of the Top 10 Mortgages applied for by Countrywide customers was 4.35 percent, up 0.5 percent from November 2010. (An increase of 0.06 percent on December 2009).

o Fixed vs. Tracker: Fixed rate mortgages made up 75 percent of all mortgage applications in December, a 1 percent fall compared to the previous month. In comparison, 53 percent of all mortgage applications in December 2009 were for fixed rate mortgages, resulting in a 22 percent increase between December 2010 and December 2009.

o Early indications: Please view Countrywide's Most Sourced Products to see daily highlights of the most popular mortgage products being sourced by UK mortgage consultants.
Residential Lettings: (based on the activities of the UK's largest estate agency & lettings network, operating 1,300 offices)

o Available properties: The number of properties available increased by 3 percent in December compared to the previous month - a fall of 5.5 percent compared to December 2009. However, a strong growth in tenant demand has seen an average of 4.5 tenants vying for the every available property in 2010.

o Tenant applications: In line with seasonal trends, the level of new tenant applications fell in December compared to the record highs during the summer months but overall tenant application volumes in 2010 were up 37 percent compared to 2009.
Estate agency: (based on the activities of the UK's largest estate agency & lettings network, operating 1,300 offices)

o Buyer enquiries: The number of new buyer enquiries fell by 42 percent in December compared to the previous month. Overall new buyer enquiries fell 5 percent in 2010 compared to 2009.
o Viewings conducted: Adverse weather conditions hampered the number of viewings carried out across the UK, which fell by 48 percent in December compared to the previous month. Overall viewings for 2010 fell 5 percent compared to 2009.

[1] Countrywide Residential Lettings (records began in 2003)
[2] Countrywide Estate Agents: New Sales Instructions December 2010 v Dec 2009
[3] Countrywide Mortgage Services: Average deposit for Countrywide's Top 10 Mortgages applied for throughout 2010

Countrywide is the UK's leading provider of integrated property services, employing around 10,000 personnel nationwide. Its UK network of local brands provides both corporate clients and home movers with a comprehensive range of property related solutions, delivered with valuable local expertise.

www.countrywide.co.uk

Countrywide House
88 - 103 Caldecotte Lake Drive
Caldecotte
Milton Keynes
Buckinghamshire
MK7 8JT
Tel: 01908 961000

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