A reflection on the Lettings market
It’s been a year since the lettings market was brought to an abrupt standstill by the infamous infection, and looking back we can see clearly the damage which was caused by a staggering 72% drop in activity from 13th March – 13th April 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. It’s understandable that the figure is so high, given the sudden nature of the lockdown and the uncertainty it brought with it.
Summer of 2020
The summer was up and down, a spike in activity occurred around 1st June when lockdown restriction were lifted and by this time tenants mindsets had begun to alter, with many looking for larger flats, houses with private gardens and the need to be close to transport links becoming a much less important factor. It was very clear to us that tenants became more concerned with the decorative condition of the property due to the WFH trend taking over and the amount of time spent inside on a daily basis.
Landlords changing their approach
Adjustments have certainly been made by many landlords, in both how they present their properties and how much rent they ask for. Due to the higher volume of properties available in the lettings market last year and into 2021, tenants have had more choice than ever before and we saw rents in some cases slide as much as 20%. That being said a correction or adjustment in the rental sector might not have been an entirely bad thing. With many landlords taking the time to refurbish their property(s) and improve the living conditions for their future tenants.
What does the future hold?
Looking ahead we believe the numbers will return to the City. WFH is certainly here to stay, but undoubtedly many individuals and companies will be keen to return to the office causing demand for housing in London to rise, but to what extent? We can’t be sure.