Coronavirus : London’s rental market

Property Market in London and COVID-19

According to the latest report from the Office of National Statistics, London had the highest median rent between October 2019 and September 2020. At a whopping £1,435 a month for a room to rent, this was nearly double the median monthly rent of £725 for the rest of England! But, with the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, rents dropped significantly in the capital, with some areas noting a 34% fall year on year.

While now could be a cheaper time to rent in the capital, sadly 41% of London’s renters said that London has lost its value when it comes to rooms for rent. 

Working from home

A packed Northern Line, Season Tickets, after-work drinks, they all seem like a distant memory these days. It’s unsurprising that London’s footfall was down 58% in December 2020, since many of us have been working from home for nearly a whole year. Professionals and students alike are finding less and less need to live in London, especially if everything can be done from your laptop. 

A need for nature

When surveyed, 60% of London renters said that they’d considered leaving London and moving to the coast. Towns like Margate, Devon and Cornwall were popular. After all, if you’re going to be spending all day in your flat, wouldn’t you rather it has sea views? 

More space needed

For the first few months, working from home was almost fun. It was like having a snow day, but every day. We discovered new ways of working from our bedrooms, sofas, or kitchen tables. However, as the months have dragged on, the desire for space is something we’ve all felt, with many flocking to sites to find rooms for rent. 

When asked about the challenges they’d faced when working from home, 42% of Londoners noted a lack of space in the home. Eating, sleeping, working and exercising within the same four walls has had an impact on many people’s mental health and their relationships with others they live with. 

Sharing is less appealing

When your overloaded internet connection crashes yet another Zoom meeting, suddenly, that 6-person house share in Clapham becomes one of the worst ideas you’ve ever had. London’s rental costs have often meant that people were looking for one room, with large rentals to share being the only option for some. However, with more companies working remotely, it seems that some Londoners have gone elsewhere in search of more bang for their buck. 

Is buying on the rise? 

Around 60% of a young adult’s income goes on rent, which leaves little wiggle room for savings. But, moving home to mum and dad’s during the first wave of lockdown seemed to be just what many first-time buyers needed to save for their deposit. This, combined with the reduced rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax has turned some of London’s renters into property owners. In short, the pandemic doesn’t seem to have phased Londoners. 35% of first-time buyers said the pandemic has had no impact on their plans to buy 

It’s hard to see the end of this pandemic. It’s unsure yet what will happen to the London’s rental market. Will the UK’s coasts capture the hearts of previous city dwellers for good? Or, will London once again return to the metropolitan hub it once was? Whatever 2021 brings, you can be sure to find your next room rental with

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