Number of renters searching for flats in London is up by nearly a fifth compared to January as people begin to move back to city after lockdown
- Rental agencies experiencing flood of demand for London as people move back
- April figures show number of people looking for rooms in capital was up by 17%
- This could mark start of pent up demand as the country finally opens up again
The number of renters looking for London flats is up nearly a fifth compared to January, figures show.
Rental agencies are experiencing a flood of demand as people look to move back into the capital after moving out when the country went into lockdown.
Spareroom said the number of people looking for rooms is up 17 per cent in April compared to January.
London accounts for around half of the UK flatshare market and it is one of the hardest hit by Covid
London accounts for around half of the UK flatshare market and it is one of the hardest hit by Covid.
The pandemic led to a fall in demand meaning rents dropped by as much as 30 per cent in some areas of the capital.
But this looks set to increase in the coming weeks as the country opens up again.
Demand on Spareroom plunged by 23 per cent at the beginning of 2020 whereas demand soared in northern and coastal areas.
This has caused rent across two-thirds of London to be lower than five years ago, according to Rightmove.
Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister said: ‘Landlords who five years ago took a longer-term view obviously couldn’t foresee the effect that covid would have on rents, and right now they’ll be doing all they can to prevent voids and hope the drop in rents is fleeting.
‘The frenzied buying and selling market is likely to be exacerbating the problem as well, as some sellers are moving into rental accommodation until they find the home they want to buy, adding further demand to already diminishing rental stock levels.’
The return to the office is boosting city markets across the country.
According to Leeds property consultants JLL, the lettings activity first three months of the year in northern urban areas was up 57 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
Speaking to The Telegraph, they said: ‘Cities are in line to enjoy a booming 12 to 24 months.
‘Tere has been an injection of positivity into the market.’
Buyer demand in city centres is also up by 35 per cent compares to a 32 per cent jump in demand for villages.
The biggest jumps are in York, Norwich and Sheffield city centres.
Buyer demand in city centres is up by 35 per cent compares to a 32 per cent jump in demand for villages
Andy McHugo, Associate Director at James Laurence Estate Agents in Birmingham, says: ‘The fear caused by the announcements of further lockdowns at the beginning of the year was that the need to live in the city, close to your workplace and close to the bustling financial district would be affected, something Birmingham experienced back in 2008 with the market downturn when the city got hit harder than most.
‘Nothing could be further from the truth now. Not only are enquiry levels fantastic, committed residential buyers are now returning.
‘The dynamic may have changed slightly, so apartments with balconies or terrace are proving popular, as are those with room for a home office, a second and third bedroom for example.’
Steve Pymm, Managing Director of Pymm & Co in Norwich says: ‘Flats are selling a lot quicker now than they were during the first quarter of the year.
‘For example we recently launched Castle House, a new site opposite Norwich Castle in the city centre and they have proven very popular indeed.’