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London landlords are the only ones in the country to have reported a fall in demand, a National Residential Landlords Association members survey had concluded.
It found that 56 per cent of landlords with properties in Central London saw tenant demand in the first quarter of 2021 down on the same period in 2020. Just 12 per cent reported that demand had increased. And just under half (46 per cent) reported rents had been falling.
In Outer London, 45 per cent of landlords reported demand had fallen, with 33 per cent saying it had increased.
Tenant demand was strongest in Wales, with 57 per cent of landlords reporting an increase over the same period last year. Only two per cent reported a fall in demand. Landlords in the South West also reported market strength. Some 53 per cent said demand had increased, compared to 13 per cent who said it had fallen.
Across England and Wales as a whole, 31 per cent of landlords reported tenant demand had increased in the first quarter of 2021. One in 15 landlords said they had bought properties, but the same proportion said they had sold.
‘The pandemic has seen a significant shift in where tenants want to rent, with the trend towards home working making inner cities, especially London, far less desirable’, said NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle.
‘This poses significant challenges in determining where to invest to meet demand. Investors will no doubt be waiting for the market to settle, and the full roadmap out of lockdown to be realised, before making major decisions about where to invest. This will be particularly important as employers make decisions in the coming months about future working patterns’.