Unlocking Investment Opportunities in HMOs: A Focus on the South East and East Midlands



In the dynamic landscape of real estate investment, the Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMO) sector has emerged as a lucrative avenue for landlords seeking diversified portfolios. According to Revolution Brokers, a prominent mortgage broker, the South East of England, including its surrounding areas and the East Midlands, presents promising opportunities for investors interested in HMOs. This analysis comes against the backdrop of the current scenario in England, where almost a quarter of all HMOs are concentrated in London, with the South East and East Midlands following closely.

Current HMO Landscape:

As of the latest available data, there are approximately 56,000 registered HMOs across England, with London housing a significant portion of these properties—13,528 to be precise. The East Midlands is not far behind, contributing to 19 percent of the national total with a substantial count of 10,737 HMOs. This distribution underscores the regional diversity in the HMO market, with potential for growth and investment beyond the confines of the capital.

Investment Opportunities:

For investors eyeing the current market, there are 886 HMOs listed for sale across England. The South East takes the lead in this category, representing almost 25 percent of the total stock. Simultaneously, the East Midlands is no slouch, accounting for 14 percent with 125 HMOs listed for prospective buyers. These figures point to a trend where opportunities for investment are not solely confined to London but extend to its neighboring regions.

London’s Dominance:

Revolution Brokers attributes London’s dominance in the HMO market to the consistent demand for multiple occupancy rental properties. Despite the higher initial investment costs, the capital boasts stronger wage levels, facilitating a more robust return on investment through rental income. Moreover, being the nation’s capital, London experiences a constant influx of tenants, both domestic and international, moving to the city for employment opportunities. This perpetual demand results in lower void periods, a crucial factor that enhances the overall profitability of HMO investments in the city.

Economic Factors Driving Investment:

The economic factors influencing the HMO market in the South East and East Midlands are multifaceted. Stronger wage levels in London create a favorable environment for landlords, allowing them to command higher rental prices and consequently boosting the return on their investments. The revolving door of tenants in the capital, encompassing both domestic and international individuals, contributes to a steady demand for HMOs, minimizing the risk of void periods that can impact rental income.

Regional Dynamics:

While London undeniably remains a powerhouse in the HMO market, the South East and East Midlands offer distinctive advantages for investors. The surrounding areas of the South East, characterized by their proximity to the capital, benefit from the ripple effect of London’s demand dynamics. As individuals seek more affordable housing options outside the city limits, these areas become attractive investment prospects for HMOs.

In the East Midlands, the significant contribution to the national HMO count highlights a growing market. The region’s 19 percent share indicates a strong demand for shared living spaces, possibly driven by economic activities, educational institutions, and employment opportunities. Investors keen on diversification may find the East Midlands an appealing destination for HMO investments.

Challenges and Considerations:

While the South East and East Midlands present promising investment opportunities, it is essential for investors to consider potential challenges. Regulatory frameworks, local market dynamics, and the evolving nature of tenant preferences can influence the success of HMO investments. Additionally, economic uncertainties and external factors, such as changes in employment patterns or immigration trends, should be factored into investment decisions.


In conclusion, the HMO market in the South East of England, including its surrounding areas and the East Midlands, emerges as a compelling frontier for investors. The diverse landscape offers a blend of stable returns and growth potential beyond the saturated market of London. While the capital continues to be a focal point for HMO investments, the regional dynamics and economic factors in the South East and East Midlands provide an attractive alternative for those seeking to diversify their property portfolios. As the real estate landscape continues to evolve, strategic investors may find ample opportunities in unlocking the potential of HMOs outside the confines of London.

Unlocking Investment Opportunities in HMOs: A Focus on the South East and East Midlands
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