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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Strong tenant demand for unfurnished properties

A majority of tenants are looking for unfurnished homes, new research shows. 

Online property management platform Howsy analysed existing rental property listings on Rightmove and Zoopla to compare the level of stock already snapped up by tenants as a proportion of all stock listed. 

The study found that in 19 of 23 major cities, demand for unfurnished homes was the highest, hitting 41% on average. 

Demand for an unfurnished rental property was at its highest in Plymouth and Portsmouth, both at 62%, while Bristol followed at 60%.

Location

Unfurnished - Tenant Demand

Plymouth

62.9%

Portsmouth

62.3%

Bristol

60.4%

Nottingham

59.8%

Bournemouth

58.3%

Southampton

53.0%

Sheffield

49.5%

Newcastle

48.9%

Cambridge

47.4%

Cardiff

47.0%

Newport

46.9%

Oxford

40.1%

Liverpool

39.0%

Birmingham

39.0%

Leeds

38.3%

Glasgow

36.4%

Manchester

36.3%

Leicester

29.1%

Swansea

27.1%

London

24.1%

Belfast

20.0%

Edinburgh

11.4%

Aberdeen

10.8%

Average

41.2%

In four cities, tenants opted for a partly furnished home with demand at an average of 35%, although demand for a partly furnished home was at its highest in Bournemouth (59%), Bristol (57%) and Plymouth (55%). 

Location

Unfurnished - Tenant Demand

Plymouth

62.9%

Portsmouth

62.3%

Bristol

60.4%

Nottingham

59.8%

Bournemouth

58.3%

Southampton

53.0%

Sheffield

49.5%

Newcastle

48.9%

Cambridge

47.4%

Cardiff

47.0%

Newport

46.9%

Oxford

40.1%

Liverpool

39.0%

Birmingham

39.0%

Leeds

38.3%

Glasgow

36.4%

Manchester

36.3%

Leicester

29.1%

Swansea

27.1%

London

24.1%

Belfast

20.0%

Edinburgh

11.4%

Aberdeen

10.8%

Average

41.2%

Meanwhile, furnished homes saw demand drop to just 21% overall, with Bristol (37%), Nottingham (33%), Oxford and Newport (30%) home to the highest demand for non-furnished rental homes.

Location

Furnished - Tenant Demand

Bristol

36.8%

Nottingham

32.6%

Oxford

30.0%

Newport

30.0%

Belfast

29.6%

Portsmouth

27.1%

Glasgow

26.3%

Bournemouth

26.2%

Cambridge

23.5%

Sheffield

21.5%

Newcastle

21.5%

Liverpool

21.3%

Southampton

20.6%

Manchester

19.9%

Cardiff

19.5%

London

19.4%

Birmingham

16.5%

Plymouth

14.1%

Swansea

13.6%

Leicester

13.2%

Edinburgh

8.7%

Leeds

8.5%

Aberdeen

6.6%

Average

21.2%

Calum Brannan, founder and CEO of Howsy, commented: “The initial costs surrounding a buy-to-let investment can quickly pile up and so as a landlord, it’s important to decide how you’re going to furnish your home, if at all.

“It can be a laborious process and one that comes back around if any items are missing or damaged come the end of the tenancy, and our research shows that it may not even be necessary.  

“Currently, the majority of tenants are opting for unfurnished homes and this could be due to a few reasons.  

“In the current climate, some may not want to run the risk of using furniture from a previous tenant. Others will want to work with a blank canvass as you would when buying your own home in order to put their own stamp on the place.

“While some may already have their own furniture which they won’t want to get rid of, but it can be costly to store and unpractical to bring to an already furnished home.”

Poll: Do you prefer to let your property furnished or unfurnished?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

  • icon

    Unfurnished all the way. No calls complaining that the washer doesn't work (because you didn't clean the filter)

  • Matthew Payne

    I suppose the research may be new but the results aren't. UF has always been the best way to go. No maintenance, no W & T/damage, no endlessly removing and storing bits new tenants don't want. Headache for landlords and agents.

    icon

    And this means we can invest our savings on abused washing machines in the actual tenancy once things like void council tax is covered, Council Licensing scams, Section 24, extra fee to the LA since No tenants Fees introduced, Electrical Certs etc etc And its gone!

     
  • icon

    I have often had tenants call me at night saying I needed to go to the house because the wall power switch for the Washing Machine was showing as off!!!!

    Never again...

  • icon

    This data is nonsense. Can the author Marc Da Silva please check the source data and correct it here?
    The first 2 data sets for 'unfurnished' and 'partly-furnished' are identical, and the blurbs are confusing putting Bristol as one of the top demands for all 3.
    eg Bristol data given here:
    1. demand for unfurnished 60.4% [@60%]
    2. demand for partly furnished (57%)
    3. demand for furnished 36.8% [@37%]
    And what ACTUALLY does this data represent?
    It can't be either/or re tenants preference for 1,2, or 3 - because that doesn't add up.
    So I' was concluding that there is a higher demand for properties in Bristol than some other areas so that potential tenants are having to consider being FLEXIBLE about what they take on.
    But then take Aberdeen data which says
    1. demand for unfurnished 10.8%
    2. demand for partly furnished 10.8%
    3. demand for furnished 6.6%
    which screws that conclusion.
    So what exactly quantifies 'demand'?

  • icon

    P.S. It may say "analysed existing rental property listings on Rightmove and Zoopla to compare the level of stock already snapped up by tenants as a proportion of all stock listed" but we also need to know how many properties were actually listed (smaller data sets might be unreliable), and it would be useful to know over what period and the dates... (pre-covid over a year? or 3 months since lockdown?) and going back to that idea of percentage of stock snapped up - then is the data for Bristol (and other areas) confused?

  • icon
    • 05 August 2020 19:57 PM

    If you have a flat that is usually part-furnished as it comes with integrated appliances.

    None of my occupants would take the property without white goods.
    In my case that is

    Cooker
    FF
    Washing machine.

    I would dearly love to let unfurnished as I must have replaced white goods at least once.

    My flats simply wouldn't let without furnishings.
    98% of my tenants had suitcases and nothing else!!

    Furniture though no extra rent is required just to let.

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