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Lockdown one year on: Renters search for space says Rightmove

Almost one year to the day since the first national lockdown began, Rightmove has analysed millions of data points to confirm the major trends showing how the pandemic has changed renters’ demands.

A year ago the most sought after property type for tenants was a two bed flat, and this has been replaced by a two bed semi-detached house, due to the desire for more space and a garden. 

Asking rents over the past year vary dramatically, with double digit growth in some towns and suburbs, compared to double digit declines in areas of London.


Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister said: “The stand-out trends over the past year have been increased demand for countryside and coastal living, more people making the dream of a detached home a reality, and the increased appeal for a garden.

“The huge population of London means that traditionally it’s the most searched for location on Rightmove, but the appeal of the coast and the countryside over the past year has seen Cornwall crowned the new capital this year.

“More space has always been the most common reason for people moving home, but the evolution for many from balancing their laptop on the end of a bed last March to making an office a permanent addition to a home, whether that’s by converting a bedroom, garage or garden shed, has led to a need for even bigger homes than before. 

“This is evident with five bed detached homes seeing the biggest growth in sales, and two bed homes becoming the most sought after for people renting.”

The county of Cornwall has overtaken London as the most searched for location for buyers on Rightmove with over five million searches in a month in February 2021. 

The lure of the countryside has in fact led to six of the top 10 places seeing buyer searches increase the most over the past year being located in Cornwall and Devon.

There has been a shift in more people who currently live in a city enquiring about a property that is outside of that city. 

The biggest shift has been in London where this time last year 39 per cent of Londoners were enquiring outside of London.  This has jumped up to over half now and the trend is the same across all 10 of the biggest cities in the UK.

In the sales market, and looking by number of bedrooms, five bed detached homes have seen the biggest jump in sales being agreed, up by 38 per cent followed by four bed properties, up by 26 per cent.


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