Research from a deposit replacement scheme, Ome, suggests the first lockdown was sharply followed by a surge in tenancies - begging the question: will it happen this time too?
Ome says in the three months following the first lockdown, new tenancies on private rented properties were up by 22 per cent on the previous year.
In June, July and August 2020 there were 125,932 new tenancy deposits protected with the government authorised scheme mydeposits, compared with 98,412 during the same three-month period in 2019.
Ome says this significant increase is perhaps unsurprising as it could be attributed to the pent-up interest in moving to a new home, which was stifled during the lockdown months. Likewise, some tenants may have re-evaluatred their housing needs for more storage or outdoor space.
The lockdown period, from March to May 2020 saw just 61,972 new tenancies, with the amount of new tenancies more than doubling from June to August 2020, to 125,932.
Some renters remained cautious for several months after restrictions were lifted however, September 2020 saw the largest number of new tenancies so far this year, with a grand total of 49,146.
Commenting on the findings, Ome co-founder Matthew Hooker says: “One of the great benefits of a strong private rented sector is the flexibility it offers to those that have reassessed their living conditions and now want something different.
“The post-lockdown rebound is encouraging because it shows confidence and willingness from renters to expand their horizons and readjust to their current circumstances. This flexibility to adapt and overcome, rather than make do with arrangements they had made prior to the pandemic, highlights just how buoyant, resilient and adaptive the private rented sector can be.
“The pandemic, so far, has re-emphasised the need to mould your surroundings to create the best environment for yourself. Whether that be moving closer to work to avoid a busy commute, prioritising the need for outdoor space or moving out of (or back into) your family home.
“…As we see the market consolidate over the next year or so, and adjust to the new ways of doing things, we are confident that we will see tenants and their landlords working more closely together to reinforce an effective, fair and inclusive rental experience.”
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