Fall in rental sector demand ‘has been less severe than in housing market’


The fall in demand from new tenants in the rental sector has been less severe than the drop-off in house-hunters in the property market, according to an index.

Zoopla said that, across the UK rental market, tenant demand fell by 57% between March 7 and March 30 – a more modest decline than a 70% fall in home-buyer demand.

Since then, rental demand has increased by 30% in the two weeks to April 14.

Zoopla said delayed start dates agreed by lettings agents and the ability of some tenants to make decisions based on online virtual viewings have helped to support rental market activity during the lockdown, albeit at lower levels than normal.

The total number of properties listed as available to rent has decreased by just 3% since March 1, indicating that there has been no large-scale withdrawal of listings.

Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said: “The rise in demand in the first two weeks in April indicates that some tenants are already mapping out their next move.”