Demand for rental properties has predictably plummeted thanks to the lockdown.
Data from PropTech company Goodlord shows that while a surge for newly available properties took place in early March - ahead of the widely-anticipated lockdown - this fell away significantly during the later part of the month.
Looked at over the whole month, Goodlord says demand sits at around 60 per cent of the figure of this time last year. The number of new applications for rented properties has dropped by 25 per cent since the March 23 lockdown.
Thanks to the surge in contract completions ahead of the lockdown, average void periods dipped across most of the country during March. The average void period for the UK as a whole reduced from 19 to 17 days on average.
The East Midlands and the North East both saw six days knocked off their average void periods, setting them at a new average of 21 days and 18 days respectively.
In contrast, London saw an increase in voidage from 10 to 14 days. Goodlord says this may reflect London’s status as the worst hit location for the virus.
The average rent for a UK property increased during March, reflecting the demand for tenancies during the first half of the month. All regions apart from the South West recorded an increase in average rental costs.
For the East Midlands, Greater London, North East and North West, a rise of one per cent was recorded.
Wales saw the biggest rise, at five per cent. This was followed by four per cent increase in the West Midlands and a two per cent increase in the South East.
“Whilst we’ve seen a dramatic decline in the last 10 days compared to 2019, the lettings market is and will continue to be needed. As tenancies expire and contract renewals are needed, agents will continue to play a crucial role in ensuring that this process can still be handled quickly and securely and the temporary changes to right to rent mean that can take place almost entirely remotely” says Tom Mundy, chief operating officer at Goodlord.