What is really happening in the rental market?

Adam Orrell, Lettings Director in Dorking, gives some insight into the lettings market post Covid-19 and shares his thoughts on what he feels might happen in the upcoming months.

“Lockdown has been a very challenging time for all, however, the unexpected outcome of this was a surge in tenant demand as soon as the doors opened.  In our branch network covering Dorking to Camberley, Surbiton to Haslemere – and everywhere in between, we saw property enquiries almost double, particularly for houses with outdoor space and additional rooms which can be used as an office.”


Adam continues “With two months confined to our homes, we were faced with a daily reminder of what we did, but more importantly, did NOT like about where we were living. And, for many of us needing to convert our space into a workplace – with a view to this being a permanent change, our home’s suitability has been put to the test.  So when lockdown was lifted, there was decisive shift to find something more appropriate to their changing needs.


Another factor contributing to demand has been the availability of mortgage products for first time buyers (FTB).  The pool of mortgages available for those with smaller deposits shrunk as we came out of lockdown meaning that many who would have been looking to take their first step on the mortgage ladder are instead having to wait leaving them in the rental sector for longer.


What we did not see during this period was a similar increase in the availability of rental property coming on to the market.  With demand unsatisfied, competition has been high for the limited number of properties available, pushing rental values up by approximately 2.2% (Zoopla Rental market report September 2020).


The outlook for 2020 remains positive as there does not seem to be much of a narrowing of the gap between demand and supply however there could be negative pressure placed on rents as the furlough scheme coming to an end and a potential further localised lockdown threatens industries in which the majority of our rental sector are employed, retail, leisure and hospitality.”


As always, we will continue to monitor the rental market and we base all of our advice on current market conditions to ensure our landlords investments run at maximum efficiency.  If you are a landlord and have a property to rent or our considering investing, please do not hesitate to speak to our experienced lettings team on 01306 776674 and we would be only too happy to help.