Number of new tenancies almost at pre-lockdown levels

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has seen many implications over recent months for the rental sector, but the number of new tenancies has now almost returned to the same figures before the virus outbreak.

As the lockdown measures have begun to ease over recent weeks, and with viewings having recommenced on properties, the number of new tenancies is on the rise once again.

Figures by The Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS) indicate that the volume of tenants moving during Q2 2020 dropped by almost a third – 32% – with new tenancies falling from just under 60,000 in March to just over 32,000 in April. A swift recovery of just under 56,000 registrations as lockdown measures eased came in June however.

Matt Trevett, managing director at The DPS, commented: “Although the number one priority for the rental industry over the last few months has been to safeguard public health, it’s clear that the restrictions affecting letting agents, landlords and tenants led to a significant reduction in home moves.

“Nevertheless, now lockdown is easing new lets are increasing, and we expect the trend of tenancy moves to continue back to pre-pandemic levels over the summer.”

The DPS report shows that tenants paid on average £782 per month during Q2 2020, an increase of £7, or 0.9% on Q1 2020 and £12, or 1.56%, more than Q2 2019.

London remains the most expensive place in the UK to rent with monthly average rents in the city static at £1,345 for the past three consecutive quarters, the DPS said.

Excluding London, average monthly rents across the UK during Q2 2020 were £99 lower than the average, at £683 per calendar month (pcm).

Most regions experienced average rent increases during Q2 2020, except for the South East, Scotland and the West Midlands, which experienced falls of £9 (-1.01%), £4 (-0.62%) and £2 (-0.32%) respectively.

Rents in the North West and Greater Manchester rose by £10 (1.68%) during Q2 2020, to £604pcm.

Rents rose across all property types during Q2 2020, with terraced property rents increasing the most, rising £14 (1.93%) from £725 in Q1 2020 to £739 in Q2 2020.

Inflation fell from 1.70% to 0.65% during Q2 2020, while national average salaries were £30,353, with UK renters typically spending 31.16% of their income on rent.

With 40% of tenancies across the UK expiring in July, August and September, the next few months are set to be a remarkably busy period in the rental sector; the perfect time for investors on the fence to take the next step be it through a first-time let or continuing to expand their portfolio.

For more information on how to navigate the shift in tenant activity with hands-off, hassle-free property management, call Abode on 0161 883 2525.

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