With uncertainty rife amid the lockdown, some 70% of tenancies that were due to expire in
March were renewed, according to Hamptons International Lettings Index.
This is the highest renewal level for the month of March since 77% of tenants renewed in
However, March 2020 also saw a year-on-year fall of -0.5% in the amount of rent paid under renewed tenancies - the biggest decrease since the index began back in February 2014. A regional breakdown of the data shows that Greater London and the South East experienced the biggest falls, down by -2.2% and -1.4% respectively.
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said: “The first signs of the Covid-19 effect on the rental market are starting to show.
“Tenants’ concerns about their future income prospects combined with greater risk of void
periods for landlords willing to advertise their property on the open market, resulted in the rent falls. London, where tenants’ incomes are more stretched, recorded the biggest fall in rents.
“Once lockdown restrictions ease, we expect activity levels to rise. Renting offers more
flexibility than buying a home, so as uncertainty rises, so too does the demand for rental
“But although demand for rental accommodation is set to increase, and there are already
signs of it picking back up again, the longer-term economic damage to people’s jobs and
incomes means that rents on newly let properties are likely to fall between 2% and 5% this