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London lettings bounce back as renters flee possible Covid-19 ‘second wave’

Chestertons survey shows big increase in the number of tenants registering to look for new properties to ride out another lockdown.

Richard Reed

London’s rental market is continuing to bounce back from the lockdown, stoked by fears of a potential Covid ‘second wave’, according to letting agent Chestertons.

Figures released for June show that lettings activity was substantially higher than May, though rents continue to slide.

Chestertons says many tenants are keen to act quickly to find a new property more suitable to lockdown conditions in case of a ‘second wave’ of Covid.

The firm says the number of new tenants registering to look for a new property in London was up 43% compared with May, while property viewings, offers and agreed tenancies were all up 36%, 52% and 59% respectively.

Falling rents

However, the number of available rental properties was also up by 68%, due in part to a lack of corporate relocations and international students, causing rents to drop by an average of 10%.

Meanwhile, landlords are continuing to drop their asking prices to attract tenants and avoid the possibility of having an empty property on their hands if lockdown restrictions are tightened again.

Richard Davies, head of lettings for Chestertons, said: “We are all hoping that there is no ‘second wave’ or another lockdown situation, but many tenants are taking the ‘better safe than sorry’ approach and securing a new property as soon as they can.

“Many landlords are taking the same approach and are willing to reduce their rents to secure good tenants with whom they can ride out the rest of the pandemic.

“As a result we are experiencing a very busy start to the summer market, although unusually for this time of year, rents are down by an average of 10% and continuing to fall slightly.”

July 8, 2020

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