The niche co-living portion of the private rental sector has been boosted by the pandemic according to one operator.
Built Asset Management says lettings within its shared properties increased 36 per cent between May and July this year, with levels of occupancy this month - August - returning to levels last seen in March 2020.
Furthermore, March 2021 – which saw restrictions first easing in England following the complete lockdown measures of January and February – witnessed a 78 per cent increase in lets agreed when compared to the previous two months.
Despite the fact that the private rental sector had not been forced to close during the lockdown of January and February this year, BAM admits that confidence amongst tenants was "incredibly low" with the promise of restrictions easing on April 12 having a marked boost on performance of the co-living niche.
"It’s clear from the data that the impact of restrictions easing has been enormous when it comes to tenant confidence and market buoyancy within the private rental sector. Our lettings data shows a marked and incredibly direct correlation between the lifting of restrictions on daily life and the number of lettings transacted” says BAM co-founder Alex Gibbs.
“Despite the winter lockdown measures not legislating the closure of the private rental sector, confidence amongst tenants was understandably incredibly low, particularly in London which witnessed an exodus of young professionals as offices remained closed.
“When the roadmap out of lockdown was then published, with late March/ April seeing the first major signs of normal life returning, reaction amongst tenants was immediate and marked; resulting in the enormous 78 per cent increase in agreed lets that we saw in March.
“From there, it’s been a positive, albeit steady, rise in lettings as more and more restrictions have been lifted. The data tells us that young professionals have regained the confidence to move into new shared properties, and to return to city life, as increasing numbers of offices and social establishments have re-opened their doors.
“These figures help to highlight the profound impact that lockdown measures have on societies and economies, even within industries which are not mandated to close during these periods."