Lettings Sector Body Central Housing Group

London the biggest rental sector loser as a result of Covid – claim

London’s lettings market may never return to its pre-pandemic appearance according to a flat-sharing rental platform.

SpareRoom says 49 per cent of those London renters who say they intend to move out, plan to quit the city for good even once the pandemic is over.

According to the research, 27 per cent of renters in London plan to move after the pandemic has come to an end, with half of them determined to leave the city.
The upshot is a projected 13 per cent net exodus of renters from London.

SpareRoom’s survey also shows that one in 10 renters have moved during the pandemic – this figure more than doubles for 23 to 29 year olds.

Overall, reasons for moving mid-pandemic included needing to save money (22 per cent), loss of job and income (nine per cent), a desire to live in a different area (26 per cent), to be closer to family and friends or to live with a partner (both 15 per cent).

The research also highlights what SpareRoom describes as “a huge affordability crisis for young people” with one in three aged 23 to 29 saying they live with their parents. This figure only drops to one in five for people in their thirties.

SpareRoom director Matt Hutchinson says: “We’re looking at a redrawing of the UK’s rental map in 2021 and London will be the biggest loser.

“Whether it’s down to the catastrophic effects of Covid on tourism, hospitality and the arts, driven more by lifestyle factors like wanting outdoor space, or simply the realisation that many jobs can now be done from anywhere, London living is losing its appeal for many.

“We’ve already seen the effects on London rents, with averages falling consistently since spring. What happens next is the interesting thing. This could be the start of a changing UK economy that relies less on London and the South East, as remote working becomes the new norm.

“If that’s the case, London rents are unlikely to recover quickly and house prices could follow suit once the stamp duty holiday ends.”

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