Demand for tenants appears to have returned to the capital’s rental market as the pandemic continues to thaw, new data have shown.
Analysis of new rental applicants shows that in the six months between October 2020 and March this year, the number of new applicants increased by 34 percent compared to the previous six months (April 2020 to September 2020).
In the last six months alone, however, the level of rental applications for London rental properties has more than doubled, up by 104 per cent from the previous six months (October 2020 to March 2021) and 173 per cent compared to the peak of the pandemic last year (April 2020 to September 2020).
Real estate agent Bective’s surveys show that this tenant interest also shows up after the rental application phase.
The share of London rental properties listed on the market that have been leased is now at 39 per cent in the last six months, up from 36 per cent between October 2020 and March 2021 and 33 per cent between April 2020 and September 2020 .
In addition, the number of rental properties as a share of all online stocks (sales and rentals) has also started to decline following a surplus of properties blocking the market due to evaporating demand.
The survey shows that only 34 percent of all listed properties are now rental properties, down from 42 percent over the previous six months and 42 percent in the six months prior to that.
Green shoots of recovery
Bective’s head of rental and property management, Thomas Dainty, commented:
“It is fair to say that the green shoots of positivity in the rental market, which had begun to spring up at the end of last year, have now flourished quite significantly and we now see that the rental market in London is starting to build a real shot.
“Not only are we seeing a sharp increase in the number of those asking, but these inquiries are also converting, which is something we simply did not see during peak periods of pandemic uncertainty.
“This renewed intention is helping to clean up the stock in the rental market, which had otherwise been dormant for most of last year. The result of this has been a boost to rental values, and we expect rents to return to pre- pandemic levels due to this continued demand and positive mood.
We have already started to see the rental value increase significantly for homes that provide more space, and the most suitable units have been the subject of several bids, where the rent has already increased by about 10% compared to last year. “
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