Research from franchise giant Belvoir is the latest to show what may be rapidly changing aspirations from private tenants.
“The results confirm very different rental trends between flats and houses. Flats are not quite as popular as houses, particularly in areas where there is an oversupply” according to Belvoir chief executive Dorian Gonsalves.
“Most offices are predicting increasing demand for properties, with houses being more popular. People have experienced the benefits of being able to enjoy an outdoor space during lockdown, or indeed missed out on outside space and demand for properties with gardens is predicted to increase. Demand for HMOs is likely to remain fairly stable or could fall” he cautions.
“All offices received tenant enquiries during lockdown, with the main reasons being due to a relationship breakdown, a need to downsize, or to obtain more outdoor space. The majority of tenants were looking for two [or] three bedroom properties.”
“When we looked at the impact of lockdown, our offices reported that the main challenge to their local market was a dramatic slowing of business. Offices were able to show properties via video and virtual tours so the importance of PropTech increased dramatically, with any viewings being extremely limited. Demand remained strong during lockdown, but our franchisees reported that they were only receiving enquiries from tenants who were very serious about wanting to move.”
Prior to lockdown over half of all Belvoir offices reported unchanged rents compared to Q4 2019.
Most offices had anticipated a rise in rents in 2020, with wages expected to rise in excess of inflation, but the agency says that of course this is now unlikely to happen.
Over three quarters of Belvoir offices reported zero evictions in Q1 – the highest recorded level since the agency’s regular survey began in 2016.
The vast majority of offices - 93.5 per cent - reported no problems for their tenants with the eviction extension from two to three months and any problems that did occur were due to an inability to respond to anti-social behaviour, accrued rental arrears, this has meant some landlords have been unable to move back into their own property.