70% of tenants renew their tenancies
The Coronavirus lockdown has seen the highest proportion of tenants renewing their tenancy since 2008, research reveals.
According to the findings from Hamptons International, they say that of the tenancies that were due to be renewed at the end of March, 70% of them were.
That's the highest proportion since 77% of tenants renewed in March 2008.
Also, the rent on the renewed tenancies fell by 0.5% year-on-year, which is the biggest fall since February 2014 when Hamptons began recording its index.
Growing fears over wages and jobs
The decline is down to growing fears over wages and jobs because of the coronavirus lockdown's economic impact.
Regionally, rents in the South East for renewed tenancies fell by 1.4%, and in the East of England, they fell by 0.4%. London rents fell 2.2%.
In Scotland, rents grew by 3.4%, in the Midlands they rose by 2% and in the North of England, they grew by 1.6%.
Hamptons' head of research, Aneisha Beveridge, said: "The first signs on the rental market of the Covid-19 effect are beginning to show.
‘70% of tenants decided to stay put’
"With lockdown restrictions introduced at the end of March, 70% of tenants decided to stay put and renew their tenancy rather than moving.
"The tenant's concern over future income prospects, along with the greater risk for landlords of void periods not wanting to advertise a property has resulted in rent falls.”
She added: "London recorded the biggest fall in rents where tenant incomes are more stretched."
Hamptons is now predicting that activity levels will rise once lockdown restrictions are eased though rents look like falling between 2% and 5% in 2020 as the long-term economic impact on people's incomes and jobs are felt.
The figures from Hamptons International are underlined by research from real estate firm Knight Frank.
Tenancy renewals agreed since lockdown
They say that the number of tenancy renewals that have been agreed since the lockdown measures were brought in is 5% higher than they were over the same period last year.
They say this the highest figure for 10 years with growing numbers of people opting to stay put.
Knight Frank's head of lettings, Gary Hall, said: "Demand is rekindling as more people opt to go with the status quo, particularly if there's no need to move."
The firm's research reveals that tenancy demand is beginning to strengthen as growing numbers of tenants start to plan for their life after the lockdown restrictions are lifted.