Latest industry data shows a surge in activity during the first two months of the year prior to the crisis.

New research into the rental market covering the period just prior to the start of the Coronavirus pandemic shows demand for rented property up by 25% year-on-year.

Also, it reveals that the percentage of landlords increasing rent doubled from 20% to 40% of those active in the market during February when compared to 2018.

The figures are from the Association of Residential Landlords and reflect several trends prior to the market slowing down in mid-March as the pandemic spread to the UK.

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This includes the ongoing decrease in home ownership and landlords increasing rents to fill the gap left by both mortgage relief disappearing this year and higher costs following the tenant fees ban.

Rising rents

Another rental price index, published recently by Homelet, reveals similar results.

It says that rents were rising by 1.6% across the UK during February, prior to Coronavirus outbreak and that they were increasing in nine of the UK’s 12 regions.

This puts the average rental price for a property at £955, although rents in London have been climbing faster (+3.2%) pushing average monthly rents for a tenancy in the capital to £1,650.

All of these gains and increases in market activity have now collapsed, the next set of private rented sector industry reports are expected to show over the coming weeks as people stop moving home.

Last week the government confirmed that renters should, ‘as far as possible’, delay moving to a new property whilst emergency measures are in place to fight Coronavirus.

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