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Demand starts to recover as more renters look at post-lockdown ‘moving options’

Rents continued to increase during the first quarter of the year, owed in part to a lack of supply and increasing demand, the latest data reveals. 

The Zoopla Rental Index, released yesterday, should leave many landlords with a long-term buy-to-let strategy feeling rather confident, according to Neil Cobbold, chief sales officer at PayProp. 

There are signs that rental demand is already starting to recover, after plummeting in the second half of March.


“The bounce in rental demand after an initial drop-off shows that renters are starting to look at moving options for when the lockdown period ends,” he said.


Demand for rental property increased by 30% in the two weeks to 14th April, although it is worth noting that this hike comes off a low base following the impact of coronavirus, which saw a 57% fall in demand for rental housing in the two weeks to 30th March, according to Zoopla. 

The impact of coronavirus has been negative, but it has been less pronounced in the letting market compared to the sales market, highlighting the fact that the rental sector is far more dynamic in comparison. 

Cobbold added: “While it's positive to see that there has been no mass withdrawal of properties by landlords, the pause on sales and lettings activity may simply mean they don't have many other options. 

“In light of this, measures like the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be essential to ensure that landlords can continue to receive rent despite the financial pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”

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Poll: Do you agree that the recent 'bounce' in rental demand after an initial drop-off shows that renters are starting to look at moving options for when the lockdown period ends?


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    I am new to this site, seeking opinions about my problem.
    I am a landlord I live overseas and my rental property is just outside Cambridge. Just prior to the contravirus I decided to sell, the tenants vacated and painters, floorlayers etc spruced the place up to sell. I put it on the market and one week later the contra isolation started, no viewings, nothing, dead and I dont see much changing for some time.

    I am in no rush to sell and now thinking of re letting because I think the only sales after convid will be to those looking for lower prices, also I dont want the property vacant not earning rent and the possibility of squaters or vandels.

    As I am thousands of miles away from the property does anyone know a GOOD managinging agent in Cambridge ?

    Matthew Payne

    Hi Roy

    Depends which side of Cambridge (I lived there for 20 odd years and still spend a bit of time there), property type and price, different agents focus in different areas, prices and property types.

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    Hello Matthew,

    The property is north of cambridge , Impington area. Its a 3 bed detached, should fetch about 1250 mth.
    Whats your thoughts on SALE prices when we come out of the virus problem. Do you think prices will fall before any chance of an increase?
    My questions to myself are, should I just leave it vacant and hope for a sale whilst loosing income, paying council tax etc or should I (try) rent it for another year or so ? Any thoughts out there ?

    Matthew Payne

    Leaders are technically quite a strong agency, I have recruited many of their staff over the years, and as a business they have always been well regarded. If you want a selection just look on Rightmove for 3 bed houses between £1100 and £1350 including let agreed and it will show you who is active in that marketplace and doing deals, albeit at the moment that wont be many.

    On prices, $64m question. In my view now is not a good time to sell. Low confidence in the market place with buyers, low demand for a whole mixture of reasons. It's a buyers market and I think will remain so for most of the year, so when the lockdown ends you will sell it, property always sells in any market, but you will have to compromise on price. If it was my house and I didnt need to sell it, I would rent it for another 12 months and take stock in a years time. When this is over the market will bounce back pretty strongly in favour of sellers, its just a question of when that will be which is anyones guess. That swings on vaccinations and so on, but I cant see things ending this year, 12-18 months feels about right from everything I have read.

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    Thanks for your opinion. In regards sales, I think we're both reading the same book.


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