Number of renters searching for London flats is up by nearly a fifth

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

  • As UK entered lockdown, people fled the cities with London seeing 73,950 leave
  • April figures show number of people looking for rooms in London 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 compares to January, as people begin to move back into the city.

As the UK entered lockdown, people fled the cities with London seeing an estimated 73,950 homebuyers leaving in 2020 in a four year high, with people leaving the capital for the commuter belt.

It was the highest total since around 78,170 properties were bought elsewhere in Britain by London leavers in 2016.

London accounts for around half of the UK flatshare market and it is one of the hardest hit by Covid

But now there are signs people are migrating back as April figures show the number of people looking for rooms in London was up by 17 per cent compared to January.

This could mark the start of pent up demand as the country finally opens up and people begin to return to offices.

London accounts for around half of the UK flatshare market and it is one of the hardest hit by Covid.

This led to a fall of demand meaning rents dropped by as much as 30 per cent in some areas.

Rents across two thirds of London are lower than five years ago, according to Rightmove.

Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister said: ‘Our data shows a stark contrast between the rental market in central areas of London and the market across the rest of Great Britain.

‘Agents are telling me that they don’t have enough rental stock to meet the demand from tenants in many areas, while in London there will be some tenants who have a lot more stock to choose from.

‘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.’

Buyer demand in city centres is up by 35 per cent compares to a 32 per cent jump in demand for villages

Other cities across the UK are beginning to see a comeback in houseing market too.

Buyer demand in city centres is 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.

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.’

Source: Read Full Article