April Figures Show A Surge In UK Rental Demand
New figures from Zoopla have revealed that, after falling 57% at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, demand for rental properties has bounced back 30% in the two weeks to 14th April.
The ongoing crisis has impacted the lettings market less than the sales market and with the sales market currently ‘frozen’, those that are in need of a home will turn to the rental market for the time being.
Letting agents also have increased flexibility compared to the sales market and can agree rental contracts with delayed start dates and terms based on online viewing. This means that although activity has reduced, it has still continued during the lockdown period.
The growth in demand has been the same across region and price bands.
The data shows that, across the country and excluding London, the £500-£600 pcm bracket is the most searched for by tenants. This is consistent with trends seen before COVID-19.
Contrastingly, London has seen a shift in demand. In February, the highest proportion of interest was for properties priced between £1,400 – £1,500 pcm, however, that has reduced to £1,200 – £1,300 pcm in April.
This may be down to a change in tenants’ financial circumstances, however, it’s too soon to know for sure.
Additionally, the surge in demand can be reflected in the rental yield increase seen across the country.
According to data from Home.co.uk, landlords across the UK are experiencing substantial rental yields as the scarcity of properties on the market continues to push up rents.