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What tenants want post-COVID

What tenants want post-COVID

...and where they want it.

COVID has hit the UK rental market hard. With young people moving home for lockdown and struggling to make longer term plans, demand from tanants has dropped. This is particularly true in London, where demand vs supply was down 23% in the first quarter of 2021.

But, with the drop far less pronounced in March than either January or February, the signs are there that things will pick up as we head towards summer and life becomes (hopefully) a bit simpler.

We asked over 12,000 tenants what their plans were post-COVID. Here's what we discovered.

First we asked 'What are your plans post-lockdown?'

  • I'm staying put 41%
  • I'm moving 40%
  • Not sure 19%

Nothing necessarily too surprising there. The interesting thing came when we asked the next question...

'Will you stay in the town/city you live in or move elsewhere?'

  • Stay in my current town/city 19%
  • Move elsewhere 76%
  • Not sure 5%

That's three in every in four people who say they're moving planning to relocate. Interestingly, the figures were almost exactly the same whether we looked at the whole of the UK or just London. Clearly lockdown life has meant people are wanting to make some changes.

When it comes to what's important in their next home, here's what we discovered.

'What matters most about where you live post-COVID?'

  1. Proximity to friends/family 13%
  2. Being near green space 13%
  3. Having my own place 12%
  4. Being near work/study 11%
  5. Having more space 11%
  6. Good transport links 11%
  7. Access to a garden 10%
  8. Having space to work from home 8%
  9. Being able to work remotely 8%

The reality is nobody quite knows how things will pan out over the coming weeks and months. Do we expect there to be a surge in demand? Yes. Do we expect people to behave differently post-COVID than they did before? Of course. Will the UK's rental map be completely redrawn as a result? That remains to be seen.

What we do know is that, as life returns to some form of normal, people will need to move and people will need to share. We'll keep a close eye on the market as things progress. Don't forget, you can keep up to date with what's going on via SpareRoom's Rental Index, updated every quarter.