Fear of Covid second wave is influencing London rentals

London’s rental market is continuing to bounce back from the lockdown, stoked by fears of a potential ‘second wave’ of Covid-19 according to Chestertons, after it released its June figures showing that lettings activity was substantially higher in June than May, but that rents continue to slide.

According to Chestertons – one of London’s largest lettings agents – the number of new tenants registering to look for a new property was up 43% compared to May, while property viewings, offers and agreed tenancies were all up 36%, 52% and 59% respectively.

However, the number of available rental properties was also up by 68% due in part to a lack of corporate relocations and international students, causing rents to drop by an average of 10%.

The company reports that many tenants are keen to act quickly to find a new property more suitable to lockdown conditions in case of a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, landlords are continuing to drop their asking prices in order to attract tenants and avoid the possibility of having an empty property on their hands if lockdown restrictions are tightened again.

Richard Davies, Head of Lettings for Chestertons, said:

“We are all hoping that there is no ‘second wave’ or another lockdown situation, but many tenants are taking the ‘better safe than sorry’ approach and securing a new property as soon as they can.

“Many landlords are taking the same approach and are willing to reduce their rents in order to secure good tenants with which they can ride-out the rest of the pandemic.

“As a result we are experiencing a very busy start to the summer market, although unusually for this time of year, rents are down by an average of 10% and continuing to fall slightly.”

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