Renters and pet-lovers: changing housing market presents new opportunities

What are the latest rental trends as tenants’ priorities change?

Tenant demand is at high levels, but new rental trends are being revealed. Will these changes lead to long-term shifts in the private rented sector?

Following the release of COVID-19 restrictions, tenant demand has been surging across the UK. At the same time, changing rental trends are shaping the private rented sector. Properties offering what modern tenants are looking for are likely to be in extremely high demand.

Many prospective tenants are now looking for certain features in rental properties. A few tenant priorities have changed in the past 18 months. Recent data from Rightmove reveals some of the top priorities for tenants. This was measured by prospective tenants enquiring about properties through the portal.

Pet friendly

Compared to the summer of 2020, demand for pet-friendly rental properties has grown by 120%. Overall, total tenant demand grew by 13% in that time period. This highlights the rise in pet ownership throughout the periods of lockdown.

According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, more than three million households have acquired a pet since the beginning of COVID-19. Young people are the main driver behind this with over half of new pet owners between 16 to 34 years old.

Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove, comments: “The rise in pet ownership during the lockdown periods has been well documented, and we’re seeing this translate to the rental market.

“Becoming a pet owner is a long-term commitment, so what’s really interesting to consider is the impact this could have on the rental market in the future, and it’s a signal to landlords that if they were to consider allowing a well-behaved pet then it may open them up to a bigger pool of potential tenants.”

Outdoor space

Rental properties with a balcony have seen the second largest increase in demand. This is up by 70% on last year. Additionally, homes with a garden are seeing the fourth most significant rise with demand up by 39%.

Amid the race for space, this is part of a shift towards tenants looking for more space inside and out. For many, access to a garden, balcony or outdoor space became more important during and after the successive lockdowns.

Other features

The need for parking has increased by 48%. This may be linked to a rise in tenants moving to suburban areas and commuter towns, as finding properties with parking in city centres can be challenging. And rounding out the top five, demand for properties with all of the bills included is up by 38%. This can help tenants budget more easily and may remain popular moving forward.

Additionally, other recent reports named energy efficiency, high speed internet and space for an office as important priorities for many tenants. For landlords and investors looking to make their property investment more future-proofed, it’s beneficial to keep up with the latest rental trends.

Choosing the right property and knowing what tenants prioritise can help you earn more from your property. Browse a selection of our investment opportunities, and sign up for free to get full access.

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