There has been a significant increase in demand for rental properties in April, new figures from Zoopla show.
The property portal revealed that the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic led to a 53 per cent fall in demand for rental properties across the UK in the two weeks to 30 March 2020. However, since this period the decline has “bottomed out” and the site recorded a 30 per cent increase in demand for rental homes in the two weeks to 14 April 2020.
It also noted that the supply of rental properties across the country has increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, as many landlords who had been relying on short-term rentals have shifted their focus to the long-term tenancy market.
Head of research at Zoopla Grainne Gilmore commented: “The flexibility of the rental market is one of the key factors which has allowed activity to bounce back more quickly than other parts of the property market.”
She added that the spike in the number of rental properties available means that rents across the UK are expected to moderate, with no significant further increases anticipated. Rental growth will still remain in positive territory for the remainder of 2020, she predicted.
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Meanwhile, David Mumby, head of central London lettings at Knight Frank, told BuyAssociation that although the Covid-19 pandemic is certainly creating challenges for the rental sector, both in the capital and elsewhere, any dip in activity is unlikely to be permanent.
He explained that given the finite amount of housing stock in the capital, both landlords and tenants alike know “if they don’t move quickly, they will miss out”.