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From urban to rural – tenants ditch the commute for more space

Rents increased in many rural areas and fell sharply in some cities over the summer as more UK tenants looked to relocate from town to countryside, according to The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS).

Its quarterly Rent Index shows increased demand for rural and larger properties and lower demand for urban properties and flats during the third quarter of 2020.

Flats fell on average by £5 (0.63%) to £795, while rents rose for detached, semi-detached and terraced properties.


UK tenants paid on average 31.08% of their average £30,353 annual wages on rent during the last quarter, added the organisation.

Managing director Matt Trevett says: “Our latest Rent Index clearly shows that tenants are following homeowners in reconsidering city living and moving to the countryside. The prevalence of homeworking seems to be causing many urban renters to reassess their priorities, including a new desire for increased indoor and outside space.”

“Greater demand for both rural and larger properties seems to have driven rent prices up while urban property and flats have become cheaper for tenants.”

Paul Fryers, managing director at Zephyr Homeloans, which like The DPS forms part of the ComputerShare Group, adds: “The DPS’ latest figures illustrate how quickly the coronavirus pandemic has influenced tenants’ behaviour.”

“Landlords are looking strategically at their portfolios to maximise yields, which, along with the Government’s decision to suspend stamp duty on the first £500,000 on all property sales until the end of March, is adding to increased activity in the buy to let mortgage market.”

The report also covered regional changes, including a £14 (1.58%) increase in average rents in the South East of England. Across the UK, average rents dipped £2 (0.26%) to £780 during Q3 2020.

The organisation, which tracks rent figures in each region based on a database of 13 years of property data, said it currently protects around 1.75 million deposits across the UK.


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