UK renters have shown signs of a return to major cities as they take advantage of rents that had been reduced during the lockdown, according to a report from property portal Zoopla.
The Independent reports that the lockdown had forced many younger people to return to live with their families, which caused a decrease in demand for city properties. This, in turn, led to a decrease in rents, including a fall of 9.4 per cent in London, according to Zoopla.
The cost of renting in the UK’s major cities has fallen over the past year, with Edinburgh seeing a fall of 3.2 per cent and a decrease of 1 per cent in Manchester.
However, in London, the drop was significant. Average rents now accounted for 42 per cent of an average single-earner income in London, which is down from 49 per cent in March last year and is considerably lower than the peak of 53 per cent in late 2016.
But London remained a comparatively expensive place to rent a home. The national average sees rent take up 31 per cent of a single earner's income.
Zoopla’s report suggests that demand for city properties from renters has starting rise again, and tenants are looking for properties with particular characteristics in light of the pandemic.
Outdoor space is now a priority, and the number of renters searching for houses with gardens has doubled in the last year.
Gráinne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said: “The opening up of the economy and the slow return to business as usual as the vaccine rolls out means [rental] demand will continue to build over the summer as more people move to rent their first property - although, as ever, this will be dependent on the economy opening up in line with the planned timetable,” she said.
“Demand will continue to rise in city centres as offices start to reopen.”
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