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Brexit hurting rental market with fewer EU tenants, new analysis shows

An analysis of the rental market in England has revealed a dramatic drop in the number of EU nationals taking up tenancies across the country over the past year. 

This new study, from PropTech firm Goodlord, comes despite a claim by investment consultancy London Central Portfolio that Brexit had not yet had a significant effect on the rental sector in the capital at least.

But Goodlord’s analysis is of 150,000 tenancies processed through its platform for letting agents between March 2018 and March 2019. 


“The statistics offer a stark picture of the decline in EU nationals moving to London and England as a whole” says a Goodlord statement.

EU nationals went from representing 18.5 per cent of all tenants in England in March 2018 to just 14.9 per cent in March this year - a fall of a fifth in the number of EU nationals overall. 

The decline was just as stark in London as it was across the country as a whole with EU nationals representing 29.7 per cent of tenants in the capital in March 2018, compared to just 23.7 per cent this year.

Every month since March 2018 has seen a net reduction in the number of EU nationals signing new leases, says the PropTech firm. 

By contrast, during the previous year - running from March 2017 to March 2018 - nine out of 13 months saw a net gain in EU nationals settling here. 

The biggest falls in the period to spring 2019 were amongst EU citizens from Ireland, Poland and France. 

The month which saw the biggest year-on-year reduction across the country was October 2018, the same month that the EU-UK were due to settle on a deal but failed to reach a consensus. 

During that month alone, a drop of eight per cent was recorded. 

The number of new residents from non-EU countries has remained  steady, with only a small dip of 1.5 per cent year-on-year. Numbers arriving from China dipped, although arrivals from the US saw an increase.

“The referencing checks Goodlord has been doing on the hundreds of thousands of tenants going through our technology platform paint a very clear picture of the impact that Brexit is having on the UK property market” claims William Reeve, chief executive of Goodlord.

“Over the past year there has been a 20 per cent decline in the number of EU nationals taking up rental tenancies in England. The figures clearly show a much steeper decline in EU nationals compared to those coming from further afield where the numbers have held almost steady. This represents a real worry not just for landlords, but for the wider economy. The talent and spending power of Europeans is being taken elsewhere.”

You can see yesterday’s story about the LCP assessment here.

Poll: Have you noticed fewer EU-national tenants?


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    "An analysis of the rental market in England" should read London as in the real world outside the M25 we don't have to rely on tenants from abroad.

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    • 16 May 2019 10:16 AM

    Good news.
    Perhaps the East End ladies will get their cleaning jobs back at the Waldorf Hotel in London who were displaced by cheaper Romanian immigrants.
    Good that there are fewer EU migrants.
    Means jobs for our feckless welfare scroungers.

  • Suzy OShea

    This analysis is totally true! My business in London and the south west has been suffering for the past two years.

    Paul Barrett,

    You obviously don't know much about the East End of London, if you think that benefits-cushioned Brits will rise off their comfy sofas or beds at dawn to do menial jobs like cleaning! When it comes to competition for jobs, how come migrants who have to compete for expensive housing in London can undercut the established residents of London, already in cheaper accommodation, such as council flats or even houses? They can only do this if there is already a gap in the market which the migrants can fill, As they have been doing for centuries. That means many poor Londoners had long ago given up such jobs! Just as they no longer wanted to work for London Transport as bus drivers and conductors in the 50s and 60s which was why so many West Indians were recruited and imported to keep London Transport running. This is not new! From the 12th to the 14th centuries it was the Flemmish weavers who were imported and protected by the English kings, in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was the French huguenots. So London has always been a magnet for foreigners, and always richer for it!


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