Tenant demand appears to have returned to the capital’s rental market as the pandemic freeze continues to thaw, new data has shown.
Analysis of new lettings applicants shows that in the six months between October 2020 and March of this year, the number of new applicants climbed by 34 per cent when compared to the previous six months (April 2020 to September 2020).
However, in the last six months alone, the level of tenant applications for London rental properties has more than doubled, up by 104 per cent versus the previous six months (October 2020 to March 2021) and 173 per cent when compared to the peak of the pandemic last year (April 2020 to September 2020).
Estate agent Bective’s research shows that this tenant interest is also becoming apparent beyond the lettings application stage.
The proportion of London rental properties listed on the market that have seen a let agreed now sits 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 to September 2020.
What’s more, the number of rental properties as a proportion of all stock listed online (sales and rentals) has also started to drop following a surplus of properties clogging the market due to evaporating demand.
The research shows that just 34 per cent of all properties listed are now rental properties, down from 42 per cent on the previous six months and 42 per cent in the six months prior to that.
Green shoots of recovery
Bective’s head of lettings and property management, Thomas Dainty, commented:
“It’s fair to say that the green shoots of rental market positivity that had started to spring at the back end of last year have now blossomed quite considerably and we’re now seeing the London rental market start to build a real head of steam.
“Not only are we seeing a strong uplift in the number of those enquiring, but these enquiries are also converting which is something we simply weren’t seeing during peak periods of pandemic uncertainty.
“This renewed intent is helping to clear the backlog of rental market stock that had otherwise sat dormant for much of last year. The result of which has been a boost to rental values and we anticipate rents to recover to pre-pandemic levels as a result of this continued demand and positive sentiment.
We’ve already started to see rental values climb considerably for homes providing more space and the most suitable units have been subject to multiple bids, with the rent achieved up by some 10% on last year already.”