There have been many surprising, and some unsurprising, trends that have emerged since the pandemic subsided and the UK returned to normality in the past 12 months, and now it seems that renters are returning to the city.
In many ways, it’s been quite surprising that the UK housing market has performed so well, especially for UK investors and buy-to-let.
It wasn’t outrageous or needlessly pessimistic to assume that, following lockdowns being implemented in Spring 2020, that the curtailing of demand and the effective shut down of the economy may lead to a pause and drop in the market.
Not just house prices, but demand for rental property and rents were expected to, if not drop, at the very least stagnate. This didn’t happen and as soon as the market reopened and estate agents were permitted to get back to business things somewhat exploded and haven’t really stopped since.
Another trend that emerged, that has perhaps since reversed, is that following lockdowns many people decided against city living and instead participated in the so called ‘race for space’, with sales and rentals in more rural areas becoming much more popular.
Of course, the new way of working, with more flexible home-based routine becoming the new norm, is one good reason to assume this would be the case, but there’s now good evidence that it’s reversing.
New data released recently by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) suggests that renters are returning to city living in large numbers.
City based buy-to-let investments remain good value
It was always likely to be the case that, despite new working conditions, people would still want to live in bustling and vibrant city centres, not just for work but also for the lifestyle.
The data, as reported by the Guardian, appears to back this up, with the paper reporting “It added that for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, flats were the property type showing the biggest rise in rents, which it said “could signal the beginning of the end of the pandemic trend of renters leaving cities”.
The DPS – which says its database of private rental prices is the largest of its kind – said a survey of tenants it carried out earlier this year found that 15% of respondents said they had paid more than the advertised rent to secure their property.”
This is considered a pretty strong signal that renters are not only competing in larger numbers for increasingly limited resources, but a preference for apartments and flats in urban centres is becoming much more desirable again.
New build and off-plan property investments are considered an excellent entry into the market, with cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and others growing in popularity. Many can now decide to live in any of these areas regardless of their office location due to home working.
If you’re interested in investing in this type of property then why not speak to a specialist consultant today?