Is The Rental Market Robust?
Is the rental market robust? Lockdowns have presented a lot of challenges to many sectors of the economy. With in-person viewings not possible and handovers more challenging, it would be reasonable to expect that the rental market might have had a weak start to the year. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The State Of The Market
When compared to the same time of year, pre-pandemic, the number of new tenancies is down. However, it is only down by about 25%. Which considering that renters have been unable to view properties physically, is remarkable.
There has been so much activity in the rental market that there are beginning to be supply shortages. Rental properties in desirable locations are in demand in the same way that private homes are. With renters also looking to escape from the heart of the city and find more space, these are the properties that are proving the most popular.
There has been a significant shift in the way that renters are choosing their new homes. The government is strongly discouraging physical viewings under their lockdown guidance. Instead, letting agents have turned to technology to plug the gap.
There are two main ways that agents are providing virtual viewings. The first is with a prepared and edited video. The agents then post the video online and allow prospective tenants to view a property at their leisure.
The second option is ‘live’ viewings. These are often done over apps like WhatsApp. Either the agent or the landlord gives an interactive tour of the property. Viewers can ask questions and get a more complete tour.
Typically renters prefer interactive viewings. But, with fewer properties to choose from and options getting snapped up, many renters are making quick decisions. Most are committing after an initial tour, regardless of the format.
Another area of change is in the way that handovers are being done. Typically, large amounts of paperwork have to be supplied and exchanged at the beginning of a new tenancy. There has been an increase in digital platforms, offering complete solutions for this process.
It seems likely that the reliance on digital tools for these processes is going to continue. They allow landlords, agents, and tenants to communicate quickly and quickly resolve issues without the need to all be in the same place.
The rental market and the estate agents who drive it have shown high levels of resilience and innovation to keep rental properties turning over. These innovations may prove to be a bright spot that continues to provide benefits, even when things begin to return to normal.
Making Sure Your Property Is Ready For Rental
Is the rental market robust? Even during these turbulent times, some things remain the same. One of those things is the assessment requirements for landlords. If you are currently looking for a new tenant, you will need to make sure you have up-to-date documents for fire risk assessments, electrical safety, and gas certificates.
If you need to schedule an inspection, you can speak to our team of specialists today so that you can make the most of the current spike in demand.