Covid-19 has changed almost everything in our daily lives: how we work, who we see and where we go. With changing lives come changing demands, which is evident with many tenants in the UK. The profile of tenants and what they want from their properties has changed a lot, and it is important that landlords cater for these changes. Here’s some of the tenant trends we are seeing…
People are more willing to rent
Housing demand has surged since the pandemic began, and following the law of supply and demand house prices have risen alongside it. According to HM Land Registry, the average house price in the UK in July 2021 was £19,000 higher than this time last year, an 8% increase. If buyers are unable to secure a property quickly, they are increasingly turning to renting as a viable option.
A surged demand for pet-friendly homes
According to Buy Association, the demand for pet-friendly homes has risen by 120% compared to the summer of 2020, whilst total tenant demand grew 13% over this period. This comes as UK households purchased 3.2 million pets in lockdown, states the BBC. Allowing pets may open landlords up to a larger pool of potential tenants, so it’s definitely something to consider.
Higher demand for rural family homes
Before the pandemic, many opted for city centre living to be close to the workplace, putting house size and amenities on the back burner. With the rise of working from home, we are seeing tenants demands shift from city living to larger rural family homes. According to Savills research, tenants now look for extra space and possibly a garden. With the access restrictions on outdoor space during lockdown, it’s not surprising that tenants look for outdoor space in their properties.
Student demand is uncertain for the future
For landlords who rely on houses of multiple occupancy for students, the move to remote learning meant that the previous summer term of 2020 was cut short. With more universities adopting remote learning on a full-time basis, the demand for student housing becomes uncertain as many might choose to save their money and live at home instead. Landlords might need to diversify their rental properties to ensure they appeal to a wider range of tenants.
Virtual viewings are here to stay
Although tenants have been forced to have virtual viewings due to Covid-19 guidelines, many tenants will prioritise applications on properties they have virtually viewed instead of waiting for an in-person viewing. Virtual viewings have been beneficial in shifting properties quicker and reducing the time they spend showing prospective tenants around. However, this presents competition challenges as some letting agencies and landlords might be better at utilizing videos and technology. It is therefore vital for landlords to ensure that their properties are being represented by agents who can create visually appealing viewings. This might lead to higher costs in software and technology, but saves time and money showing tenants around.
Working from home related amenities
Since the pandemic, the number of people working from home has more than doubled to 8.4 million, according to Sky News. This has come with increasing demands for high-speed Wi-Fi, the need for parking, bills included in the rent, energy efficiency and space for an office. It is important for landlords to keep up with the latest rental trends to cater for changing tenant demands post pandemic.