Rightmove: Seaside resorts in Devon and Cornwall hit hardest by rental property shortage

New data reveals seaside towns in the West Country have been hit hardest by a property shortage this year, with fewer homes available to rent than anywhere else in the region.

The findings suggest the number of properties available for long-term rent has fallen in seaside resorts in Devon and Cornwall by more than 75% compared to summer 2019.

Meanwhile the amount of interest in finding a seaside property in the two counties has tripled.

Property website Rightmove analysed more than 400,000 rental listings in the UK to compare the available rental stock in June and July 2021 with June and July 2019.

They then worked out the competition to find a home in the area by measuring the number of tenants enquiring in an area on Rightmove, compared to the number of available rental properties in that area.

The survey found the number of seaside properties in Cornwall available for long-term rental has fallen 72%, while competition for a home by the shore has increased 345%.

Elsewhere in the region, the number of available seaside properties in North Devon fell by 80%, while demand rose 292%. And in West Devon, the amount of seaside homes available for long-term rental fell 76% while competition rose 264%.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove's Director of Property Data, said: "Landlords in the typical tourist destinations around Britain have been chasing the huge surge in demand for holiday lets this summer, which has led to a temporary drop in the stock available for permanent tenants."

But he also said it is not all bad for prospective tenants.

He added, "As the summer holidays are coming to an end, agents are now reporting more landlords turning their attention to longer-term tenants as a more secure and stable option for the rest of the year and into 2022.

"The value of a good tenant should not be underestimated, and with the competition for rental properties in these areas so high right now, it could be a good time for landlords to take stock and consider their best longer term option."

Lawrence Williams, Head of Lettings at Webbers Property Services in Devon and Cornwall said: "Given we're lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK it's no surprise to see post-lockdown demand for staycations increase pressure on rental stock.

"As international holiday destinations re-open some people will choose to holiday abroad instead of in the UK and we do then expect to see some property switch from holiday letting to long-term tenancies, which in the short-term would certainly help to ease local pressures and demand which is at a record high."