No one will be surprised to learn the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the rental market. Many landlords and tenants have been significantly affected by issues related to the coronavirus, and the rental property demands and desires from tenants is likely to be affected as we move forward.
While Rightmove’s website has been busy since the housing and rental market re-opened in mid-May, Wednesday 3rd June turned out to be an extremely busy day. This was a day of records being broken on the website, with seven million visits occurring!
Tenants are looking for new features in rental property
Rightmove has studied what tenants are looking for in their next rental property, and 49% of respondents say what they are looking for has changed due to what has happened in recent months. The property portal has carried out research on their site data and has surveyed 4,000 property movers to see what changes are likely to arise in the housing market.
One interesting change that has occurred between May 2019 and May 2020 is the type of property tenants are looking for now. Right now, in a list of desirable property for tenants, there is no mention of flats in the Top Five.
In May 2019, “studio flat” was the second most desirable option for tenants and in January 2020, “studio flat” was the leading option. However, for May 2020, the top five rental options were:
1. Two-bed house
2. Two-bed bungalow
3. Three-bed house
4. One-bed house
5. Three-bed bungalow
If this trend continues, it might shape the sort of property investors buy when entering the buy-to-let market.
Remote working will impact the housing market
Other factors that tenants are looking for is a better home workspace, which was cited by 26% of tenants. Reliable broadband connectivity and a spare room have grown in importance while commuter times and transport links are not considered as important.
If, as expected, remote working becomes commonplace, the importance of commuter options will fall for tenants, and property buyers.
Attributes deemed less important because of the COVID-19 pandemic include:
· Commuting time from the workplace
· Transport links nearby
· Non-essential amenities available nearby
Rightmove housing market analyst Miles Shipside said; “The housing market has been open in England for a few weeks now and as always the picture is very different depending on the local area, with some agents rushed off their feet with offers going over the asking price and others moving at a slower pace.”
Shipside continued by saying; “Traffic on Rightmove has hit its highest ever level with many starting out on a new journey towards their next home and a change in lifestyle, which could come with a very different wish-list to the one they had a few months ago. During lockdown people have been re-evaluating what their must-haves are, and both buyers and renters are craving a home with its own outside space rather than a flat. It will be fascinating to see how the trends unfold over the course of the rest of the year.”
At Hunters Forest Hill, we know selling property is challenging, but we are here to assist you in the process. If you aim to buy, sell, let your home or rent property, we are active in New Cross, Peckham, Dulwich and Brockley, in addition to Forest Hill, so get in touch with one of the top three agents in London, and we will be happy to assist you.