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Lettings market surges ahead of sales as lockdown eases

Activity in the lettings market has increased sharply in the four weeks since the property market reopened on May 13.

Knight Frank reports that valuation appraisals from landlords and demand from tenants have rebounded strongly.

The impressive lettings recovery is in stark comparison to the sales market, which the global consultancy suggests is taking longer to get back on its feet.


Knight Frank data shows that the number of lettings valuation appraisals in the week ending June 6 was the highest number on record and some 19% above the five-year average.

Meanwhile, the weekly number of new tenants making enquiries was 40% above the five-year average and the second highest figure recorded this year.

When it comes to viewings, lettings appointments were 1% higher than the five-year average last week, despite social distancing rules remaining in place.

In the sales market, however, viewing levels remain 26% below the five-year average. The number of web views for lettings properties was also up 33%, compared to a drop-off of 12% in sales.

Although the lettings market is recovering well from the pandemic, it is not yet at the levels seen in the second half of last year when demand was boosted by uncertainty in the sales market due to Brexit.

Knight Frank says the three highest weeks on record for new prospective tenants registering were all recorded in September 2019.

"We expect demand to get even stronger when there is more certainty around how universities will be teaching their courses next year," explains Jon Reynolds, head of lettings at Knight Frank for the City, east and Riverside region in London.

"Those announcements will make a huge difference and demand will be bolstered further as companies reactivate relocation plans that are currently on hold."


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