The effects on the property market of Covid-19 are clear; with the general populous on lockdown there are bound to be fewer movements. However, it has today been confirmed by Mark Hayward at Propertymark that Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, is looking at ways to get our industry re-open.
The rental market has historically been more flexible than the sales market due to the accessibility and affordability of properties, especially when the new Tenant Fees Act is taken into account. Research from Zoopla and other industry giants has indicated that people are already making rental plans for once the lockdown period is over, a positive sign for the lettings market. This prompted us to take a look at our own stats.
As you can see from our figures, the first two weeks of lockdown saw enquiry levels take a substantial hit; but since then, especially for tenant enquiries, the number coming in has climbed dramatically.
We are still not at the level of enquiries we would expect year-on-year, but this is a hugely positive sign for the rental market moving forward and out of lockdown.
Essentially, we are seeing demand for rental properties growing much more quickly than for sales properties, and rents are holding steady in unfavourable conditions.
“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,” said Gráinne Gilmore, Head of Research at Zoopla. “The rise in demand in the first two weeks in April indicates that some tenants are already mapping out their next move.
“As with the whole housing market however, activity levels and rental growth will likely be closely aligned to the economic landscape of the UK once the lockdown eases and the immediate impact of Covid-19 starts to recede.
“Rental growth has increased steadily for the last 3 years as demand has increased in the face of dwindling new supply. However, If the responses to COVID-19 contribute to a rise in unemployment, as some official bodies have forecast, this will reduce the scope for any additional growth in rents. We expect growth to moderate this year, but to remain in positive territory.”
Jacobs Steel are continuing to abide by government advice and carrying out viewings and valuations virtually, until we are told otherwise. We are continuing to monitor this advice on a daily basis and will release more information as soon as we have it.
Ollie Whiting is the Lettings Manager at Jacobs Steel. Since re-launching our lettings department in 2018, Ollie has grown his team from scratch and helped hundreds of landlords and tenants with the highest quality of service that Jacobs Steel is known for.
His experience stems back over 6 years having worked for corporate and independent agencies; and he has dealt with a vast array of landlord requirements in that time.
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