Rental market growth highlighted by Experian

There were 58,000 extra properties being marketed to rent in 2011 compared to the same period in 2010, Experian has reported.

Meanwhile, the number of properties for sale dropped by approximately 12,000 in 2011.

Using data from its Movers Alert service, Experian has compiled the Movers Index that offers an insight into the habits of the housing market.

The volume of properties put up for rent increased every quarter in 2011 when compared to 2010 with Q3 seeing the most significant increase of 14.46%. A number of seasonal trends were prevalent in both the rental and resale markets with December the least popular time to market a property and the summer months the most common.

May was the busiest month for resale properties added to the market whilst August was most active for rentals, which could be attributed to students preparing for a new term at university.

For 2011 as a whole, the number of resale properties (769,077) taken to market exceeded those that were let out (692,766). The exception to this was around the Christmas season which was the least popular time to sell a house.

London dominated the rental market with 20% of all UK rentals being based in the capital. This dropped quite significantly when it came to houses for sale with London only accounting for 10% of appointments. The South West had the highest percentage of For Sale properties at 12.2%.

Wales and the West Midlands saw the biggest increase in houses-to-let with a 20% rise in numbers in 2011 compared to 2010. The West Midlands also highlighted its dynamic property market credentials by bucking the downward trend in the number of resale properties compared to 2010, with 12% more houses put on the market in 2011.

Jonathan Westley, managing director of consumer information services at Experian UK & Ireland, said: “This insight shows that homeowners may be using renting as a back-up plan if they are unable to sell or alternatively some may still consider property a long-term investment. Being able to paint a picture of movers and get a unique insight into habits and trends is a valuable tool for companies from financial services to utilities and telcos.