Why coronavirus will drive down house prices but not rents

4 June 2020

The Daily Telegraph 

After weeks of being stuck in the same four walls, demand for rental properties is soaring.

In mid-April, the number of new tenancies in Britain dropped to just 28pc of the level seen in 2019, according to proptech company Goodlord. Since the seven-week housing market freeze was lifted, on June 2, the number of completed lets has rebounded to 70pc of last year’s figure. 

The numbers will keep rising. Richard Donnell, of property portal Zoopla, said rental demand (measured by the number of inquiries on properties) was 30pc higher than in January and February. The number of properties advertised with rent reductions is a third of what it would normally be, added Mr Donnell.

So what does coronavirus mean for the rental sector?

A new group of renters

Part of the initial surge in demand can be attributed, as in the sales market, to pent-up demand from lockdown. The trajectory peaked on May 19 and has since plateaued, said Mr Donnell.

But it has stayed high, because coronavirus has also created a new group of renters.

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