The impact of coronavirus has been less pronounced in the lettings market in the UK, according to the latest market research. The annual rental growth registered in the UK is 2.4 per cent, up from 1.5 per cent in March last year, revealed the first quarterly Rental Market report of 2020 from Hometrack.
There is clear evidence that the rental market is gaining momentum in April. “Impact of coronavirus saw 57% fall in demand for rental housing in the two weeks to 30 March; the fall in demand has since bottomed out and rebounded 30%, off a low base, in the two weeks to 14 April,” Hometrack report said.
Rental supply increased ahead of the lockdown as landlords switched from the short to the long-let market but the growth in new supply has since slowed. Increased uncertainty means households looking for a home will turn to the rental market first.
The additional flexibility in the lettings market, which has allowed agents to agree on rental contracts with delayed start dates, and agree terms based on online viewings, means that activity has continued throughout the lockdown. Once lockdown restrictions ease, activity levels will likely rise and match previous years’ levels in the typically busier seasonal periods during the second half of this year.
The growth in demand has been uniform across the market both by region and price bands.
Annual UK rental growth is at 2.4%, up from 1.5% in March last year; rental growth for the rest of the year is expected to moderate but remain in positive territory