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Tenant Demand Increases For Post-Lockdown Moves

By Simon Thompson

Tenant Demand Increases For Post-Lockdown Moves

Landlords are seeing a big rise in tenant demand as people begin planning for a post-Coronavirus lockdown move, a survey reveals.

The findings from Zoopla's Rental Index highlights that in the first two weeks of April, rental property demand in the UK soared by 30%.

However, this figure comes after the previous two weeks saw a 57% fall in demand.

The UK's rental market has suffered from a devastating impact because of the Coronavirus lockdown with rental demand running at 42% lower than it was at the beginning of March.

In addition, the survey reveals that rents continued to rise in the first quarter of 2020 - this was down to increasing tenant demand and a lack of rental homes.

'Tenants are mapping out already their next move'

Zoopla's head of research, Gráinne Gilmore, said: "The rise in demand in April shows that tenants are mapping out already their next move.

"Rental growth and activity levels will be aligned closely to the UK's economic landscape once the lockdown eases."

Zoopla highlights that if there is a rise in unemployment after the Coronavirus lockdown ends, it will reduce a landlord's scope for boosting rent prices and they are predicting that rent growth this year will be 'moderate' but remain in 'positive territory'.

The chief sales officer at PayProp, Neil Cobbold, agrees that tenant demand is beginning to recover.

He said: "After an initial drop-off, rental demand shows that tenants are looking at their moving options for when the lockdown ends."

Landlords warned over BTL mortgage payment holidays

Meanwhile, landlords with buy to let properties are being warned against using a mortgage payment holiday during the Coronavirus lockdown unless it's absolutely necessary.

The warning comes from letting and estate agents Chestertons who say that landlords should use the opportunity as a last resort because doing so may affect their future abilities for borrowing.

The agency points out that a landlord who misses mortgage payments will have this data revealed on a credit report without knowing how banks and lenders will interpret this information in the future.

Chestertons said: "Lenders use their own algorithms and underwriters will work out whether they want to take the lending risk."

The firm highlights that the applicant's credit report will contain various pieces of information which could affect their ability to access investment cash because the mortgage holiday may not be sufficiently recognised by lenders.

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