The volume of tenants competing for each room to rent is far outstripping the number of rooms being offered, according to research from easyroommate.co.uk.
On average, the number of potential tenants for a rental room on the market has risen from three to 4.1 in the past 12 months, the study shows.
In Brighton, demand is rocketing with a whopping 13 tenants vying for each available room, followed by Cambridge with 10.5 and Oxford with seven applicants for every room.
In the last year, half as many first time buyers have been able to secure mortgages compared with the average for the previous 10 years, the flatsharing website said.
With 186,000 buyers kept off the property ladder, demand for rental accommodation is soaring.
In the last year alone, the number of renters registering to find a room has risen by 58 per cent.
In contrast, the supply of rental rooms has increased by just 17 per cent.
Jonathan Moore, director of easyroommate.co.uk, said: “In rental hotspots like central London, rooms and flats are being let within hours of being advertised.”