Great News for Landlords: Longer Term Availability in High Demand

Landlords have undoubtedly faced huge challenges over the past 12 months. While Government restrictions are not legally preventing tenants from moving home, there has certainly been a drop in demand for new rentals, especially for long term agreements due to the ongoing uncertainty of the economic landscape in the UK.

However, there finally looks to be some good news on the horizon. Although tenants may not be in a rush to move right now, there is growing evidence to suggest that many are thinking ahead, and are planning to secure contracts for future moves.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Landlords

Following redundancies, furlough, and the closure of non-essential businesses across the country during the pandemic, many tenants have naturally found themselves to be in highly vulnerable situations, not only from a financial perspective, but from a health perspective, too. The risk of infection, and the potential for job losses, both mean that tenants aren’t particularly keen to move into new properties right now. Some are also struggling to pay rent on existing agreements, with almost half of all landlords surveyed by insurance firm Hamilton Fraser reporting that they have not received full rent.

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Despite the challenges, there is good news ahead according to the latest industry research. In a study of almost 50,000 rental listings, properties with availability within the next year are in highest demand, suggesting that renters are making big plans for the future. In contrast, properties that are available within 1-3 months, and within 6 months, are much less sought after, with demand sitting at just 3% and 21% respectively.

An analysis of the current listings shows that 24% of immediately available properties have had a let agreed, compared to 38% of properties available within 12 months.

Advice for Landlords

The research shows that 23% of landlords are thinking about selling one of their properties before the stamp duty holiday ends on 31st March due to the impact on revenue that has been experienced during the global health crisis.

However, is this really the best move? Although every situation will be different, landlords are being urged not to act too hastily. While the rental market may be slow now, the latest industry insight does suggest that a surge is on the way once the country begins to return a greater level of normality.  Now could even prove to be a good time to grow portfolios in preparation for meeting rising property demand in the near future.

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