The return of the housing market has seen demand for rental property boom - and it’s a third higher now than it was this time last year.
Data from Rightmove, showing activity in the first week since the lockdown eased, shows that on Monday May 18 rental demand on the portal was registered at its highest ever in its 20 year history.
Almost 23,000 new rental listings have come to the market since the first day of reopening, down 10 per cent on the same week last year.
However, total available stock for rent is now up 13 per cent since before lockdown.
Asking rents are currently up 2.1 per cent on 2019, down from an annual rate of 3.0 per cent before lockdown. They are on average £1,089 per calendar month across all Great Britain.
The biggest increases in rental searches compared to last year are in Rotherham (up 97 per cent), Cambridge (77 per cent) and St Helens (75 per cent).
“One week on from the surprise opening of the housing market and agents are still showing caution and quite rightly putting safety first, but many had already started to prepare during lockdown and so have been able to start reopening their branches and conducting viewings” says Rightmove’s housing market expert Miles Shipside.
“The activity jump on Rightmove proves the determination of home-movers to continue with their plans over the next few months. The pause button put many of the usual metrics we report on out of kilter and so a week’s worth of data should only be taken as an early indication of activity, but it’s certainly encouraging” he adds.