Demand for Private Rented Sector soared in 2020

Demand for Private Rented Sector soared in 2020

As the spring starts to make something of an appearance over the horizon there’s a palpable sense of excitement and relief sweeping the country as the pandemic starts to be brought under control and we can hopefully expect to go back to some sort of relative normality by Easter time.

The vaccination rollout is going extraordinarily well, and most people are now tentatively starting to plan the rest of their year and what they need to get done before the Autumn time. Summer feels closer than ever, and that’s echoed by the chief economist at the Bank of England who’s described the UK economy as a ‘coiled spring’ waiting to be released.

Some estimates put the amount of money saved by the UK public at £250 billion, which is expected to be almost entirely spent by the end of the year.

With all of that in mind, the spectre of 2020 feels as though it’s now receding into the distance and disappearing from the rear-view mirror. It’s tentative, of course, and we take nothing for granted but equally we take hope and good news where we can get it.

2020, more generally, wasn’t exactly a good news year for most, and certainly not in a business sense for the majority, however, there appears to have been some success stories and once again the UK property market appears to be at the forefront of that.

Build-to-rent housing supply grows

Research has been produced by the British Property Federation said that “Despite the impact of the pandemic the number of completed build-to-rent homes increased by 23% in 2020”.

Ian Fletcher, director of real estate policy at BPF was quoted as saying: “The build-to-rent sector has shown its resilience throughout 2020, with investors continuing to drive the sector’s growth across every region of the UK. The quantum of planning applications in London, however, is static – suggesting that the capital is having to compete more for investment.”

The research has been received as really encouraging news for the property sector, in particular both the build-to-rent and buy-to-let sectors.

It shows that, despite severe challenges last year, demand remains red hot and that there is still supply coming to market.

The 2021 outlook

Thanks in some part to Brexit, the UK has seen a large uptick in investment coming from abroad and outside the EU. Areas such as Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Saudi Arabia are all becoming much more involved in the sector thanks to the government making it easier for them as well as the buoyancy of the current market.

With 2020 showing that demand remained high despite a pandemic, we can reasonably extrapolate that into this will continue into the new year as demand is likely to soar once again thanks to the hopeful removal of restrictions from Spring onwards.

As prices and demand have already increased markedly through the challenges of last year and we’re already seeing increases in investment and demand this early into 2021, everything indicates towards an extremely strong year for the market across the UK overall, and an especially good year for investors.

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