Families in Norwich are spending more than a year trying to find a home to rent with some being priced out of the city due to rising costs, a letting agent has claimed. 

Norwich rental properties are getting snapped up within hours with high-income earners moving to the city from London being favoured by landlords over families with children and pets.  

The challenges come as rental prices have reached a record high across the UK according to the latest Rightmove figures. 

Eastern Daily Press: Luke Savins, head of lettings at Minors & BradyLuke Savins, head of lettings at Minors & Brady (Image: Minors & Brady)

Luke Savins, head of lettings at Minors and Brady, said: "The situation has become tough for a lot of people with some families spending more than a year looking for somewhere in the city. 

"People are selling up which has squashed the number of properties on the market. 

"There are also still lots of people looking to relocate from bigger cities to Norwich and Norfolk, where they can pay half the rent they would in London. 

READ MORE: Where is the cheapest place to rent a room in Norwich

"Landlords will go with the lowest risk, which means they are favouring high earners such as remote workers from the capital earning £100,000 rather than families with children and pets. 

"Even single doctors are finding it difficult, having to apply for a number of properties before being successful." 

Eastern Daily Press: Renters are facing fierce competition amid high prices and low housing stockRenters are facing fierce competition amid high prices and low housing stock (Image: Newsquest)

According to Rightmove, the number of rental properties has dropped by 48pc since 2019 while the number of tenants hoping to move "greatly outweighs" the number of homes to rent. 

The average rental price for a house in NR1 to NR7 postcodes has risen to £1,317 a month in April, more than £200 higher than in April 2021.  

Rightmove’s director of property science, Tim Bannister, said: “Many agents are having to manage a very high volume of tenant enquiries for every property that they let in the current market.  

READ MORE: 'Gazumped' young people forced out of Norwich rent market by Londoners

"Properties in popular areas within an affordable asking rent range of that local area are likely to be snapped up almost immediately." 

The average rental price for a city centre property in the UK has risen by 12pc in the last year alone, with more and more families looking elsewhere in order to find an affordable home. 

Terraced houses have the biggest gap between supply and demand, with more than four times as many tenants enquiring as there are properties of this type available to rent, while flats are currently finding a tenant the quickest. 

Eastern Daily Press: Norwich and Norfolk remain a popular choice for people looking to move out of bigger cities like LondonNorwich and Norfolk remain a popular choice for people looking to move out of bigger cities like London (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Savins said: "When homes do become available, we are inundated with applicants.  

"For example, we had a three-bed property in NR1, going for £1,100 a month, and received more than 30 enquiries in under 16 hours. This is not uncommon and only a quarter of applicants will get a viewing. 

"The market is very different to five years ago when families could be specific as to which roads they wanted to live in.  

"Many are being forced out of the city due to the lack of homes available, making it difficult to be in certain catchment areas. 

"They are having to be a lot more flexible." 

The shortage of homes is in part due to 'accidental' landlords, who might have inherited a home and decided to rent, choosing to sell up instead due to high mortgage costs or energy prices making it unaffordable. 

"These types of single-property landlords are the ones being most squeezed by financial challenges," Mr Savins added. 

"They are choosing to sell which has contributed to the drop in rental properties available. 

"However, there are still opportunities out there, particularly with a number of developments and new builds in areas around the city."