December is the best month for landlords to find new tenants, according to lettings agency Kingswood Residential Investment Management.
The Nottingham-based firm said that, far from winding down before Christmas, December very often leads to a flurry of activity for residential letting agents.
The lettings specialists added that there is a false perception for those outside the property industry that this time of the year is a ‘quiet’ period in the rental market, whereas evidence from both online portals and high street lettings agents suggest this is far from the reality.
Kingswood Residential Investment Management said it was gearing up for a busy winter period off the back of its experiences over the past two years.
“In our first year of trading in 2016, December was our second most productive month of the entire year,” Adam Kingswood, managing director, said. “In our second year of trading, we had 10 available properties to let at the end of November and we successfully let all those properties before New Year’s Eve.”
This experience of busy festive seasons is borne out by stats from Zoopla, Rightmove and OnTheMarket, who all record some of the highest traffic to their websites during the month of December. The highest peak is typically reached between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day as people use the extra free time at their disposal to browse for property.
Property searches continue to increase in January when many tenants take the next steps towards their next move.
“For landlords, this can be a fantastic time to let your property,” Kingswood added. “Renters seeking a new home in December have a sense of urgency to be in for mid-December so that they are settled in for Christmas. Alternatively some take advantage of the Christmas week leave from work to get moved in, particularly young professionals.”
He said that the Christmas period is typically one where people have a little more time on their hands. For those looking for a new property, it therefore becomes the perfect time to ‘browse with a view to a move in the New Year’.
“Even if a new tenant doesn’t move in during December, the property could potentially be let S.T.C ready for a new tenant to move into in January,” he continued.
“For investors looking to purchase their next buy-to-let, this could also be the perfect time to buy their next investment. Some landlords will want to sell their property quickly, and not have it standing empty over the winter months. Therefore, it can provide the opportunity for investors to strike a bargain and have their next buy-to-let investment up and running for the spring.”
Kingswood said he would encourage all landlords to make sure their properties are advertised in December and throughout January so that they can pounce on the surge of interest during these months and avoid costly vacant periods.