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Rental demand still swinging away from cities, says Rightmove

Demand is still moving away from cities and towards suburbs and rural areas, according to Rightmove.

“Areas around the North and South West are the stand-out seller’s markets right now, and places in Cornwall and Devon are continuing the trend of a desire to move to the seaside and countryside. Suburbs are also faring well as some people move further out from the centre of cities” explains Rightmove’s director of property data, Tim Bannister.

“Both sale and rental properties in city centres have been suffering over the past year as the usual appeal to live there has temporarily been taken away, leading to more stock than usual being available, but we may see these start to shift more quickly over the next few months as lockdown restrictions continue to be removed.”


Although most figures released by Rightmove relate to properties on sale, the trend identified applies to the rental sector as well, according to the portal.

Having analysed just under 300,000 properties coming to the market since the start of the year, it says in city centres only around one in five are marked SSTC. In Birmingham city centre 18 per cent of properties are marked SSTC, and in Liverpool city centre 22 per cent are marked SSTC.

However, across Great Britain as a whole - including predominantly non-city centre locations - almost two out of every three properties are currently SSTC and available stock is down 26 per cent on last year.

Rightmove also reports extensive increases in portal traffic for both rentals and sales. 

So far this year it has recorded 20 of its busiest ever days for visits, with a new record set last Wednesday April 7 when there were over 9.3m visits.

On Tuesday April 6 there was a new record set for people sending enquiries to agents, beating the previous record set last month.

Bannister says: “In a traditional year there would be a couple of record days for visits or enquiries being sent by home-hunters, but the pace of the current market caused by a combination of restrictions easing, a desire for more space and people considering different locations, has led to records tumbling week after week.”


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