40% of tenants planning a move now that Covid has eased says Nationwide

UK's leading mortgage lender Nationwide has published new data that points to a mini-boom about to hit the private rental market.


Letting agents will see higher turnover of tenants as more people move home as the nation emerges from Covid, lender the Nationwide has said.

Its chief economist Robert Gardner has released an extraordinary report into the private rental market on behalf of its specialist buy-to-let lending arm claiming that renters are to be the most active post-pandemic home movers.

“Research we conducted in April showed that the pandemic had prompted more than a quarter of people (29%) to move or consider moving home”, he says.

“Looking across tenure types, tenants in the private rented sector were most likely to be moving or considering a move, at 40% of those surveyed, compared with 32% of those owning their home with a mortgage and 20% of those who owned their home outright.”

His comments would suggest that lettings agents may soon see a surge in house moves similar to that being experienced within the sales market.

Stable rents

But unlike house prices, Gardner (pictured) says rents have and are likely to remains stable as more young tenants are helped onto the first rung of the property ladder via the government’s generous mortgage and equity schemes, but more landlords sell up and quit the sector.

The only area where rents have dropped significantly is London, where the pandemic exodus by Millennials has severely weakened demand for rented property.

Nationwide says the greatest risk to urban letting agents is if patterns of home working and commuting are permanently altered by Covid, leading to less demand for high density city apartments and shared houses in the future.

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