Demand for rental properties in the West Midlands rose at the fastest pace for 18 months during the last quarter, according to new figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
The RICS said tenant demand in the region continued to go from strength to strength, with 26 per cent of surveyors reporting an increase.
Houses in particular were in high demand, showing a strong surge for the second consecutive quarter. However, new instructions from landlords slowed down somewhat after increased activity over the previous nine months, while rents continued to rise once again.
Richard Franklin, director at property firm Savills and regional residential lettings spokesman for RICS West Midlands, said yesterday: "Once again mirroring the wider housing arena, the West Midlands' rental sector is showing fragmentation of the market between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas.
"The tug of war between supply and demand that we are seeing in the sales market is being played out in the rental area.
"Owner occupiers who are moving on to a new home, or have inherited a property, are often choosing to holding on to the additional home and rent it out rather than sell in what is viewed as an uncertain housing market."
He said: "With larger rental schemes coming in the new year, such as Beetham Tower in Birmingham, we will see a shift in the market as supply increases. This increase in supply is a good sign and shows how private rental is maturing."
Looking at the whole of the UK, the report said the continuing pensions crisis was bolstering the buy- to- let market, as investors chose to hold on to properties for the long term.
Tenant demand for rental property is at its strongest since January 2004.
The RICS said 23 per cent of surveyors nationally reported a rise in demand, compared to 20 per cent in the previous quarter. Rent levels have increased for the tenth consecutive quarter.
Current landlord instructions picked up in October, but at an unspectacular pace compared to the boom years of the early nineties.
The institution added that a low proportion of landlords (4.1 per cent) are choosing to sell rather than re-let properties when tenancies come up for renewal - half the level of this time last year.