A senior lettings agency figure says virtual viewings have transformed the rental sector.
“The increased level of requests for virtual viewings has led to a shift to more instantaneous offers from applicants, and physical viewings are no longer considered a must before reserving a property” explains the head of residential at Carter Jonas’ Cambridge office, Anton Frost.
He says this, combined with the trend for city tenants to move to more rural or semi-rural locations, has changed the market in 2020.
“We are seeing an increase in multiple offers for larger out of town properties and we have just secured a let on a six-bedroom barn conversion at £3,100 pcm on the outskirts of Saffron Walden, some 25 miles from Cambridge. This is the new age we live in” he says.
The agency says virtual viewings have assisted in creating an environment in which properties go under offer more quickly. The market is moving so rapidly that many offers are made on the spot, or after only one viewing, it claims.
Carter Jonas also believes that conventional offices will make a return of sorts this year as the vaccine rolls out and the pandemic rolls back.
For those reasons it anticipates that demand for corporate rentals is expected to increase in many business hub locations, as firms plan some sort of return to physical offices.
Whilst Prime Central London may take longer to recover from high stock levels, York, Cambridge, Oxford and Newbury could be the first to benefit from work forces gradually returning says the firm.
Fiona Minx, Head of Lettings at Carter Jonas Newbury says: “Businesses such as Vodafone will be fundamental in supporting the rentals market in Newbury and bringing people back to the city centre.”