Tenants are increasingly looking for homes they can move into at the end of the year rather than next month, as many delay moving during the pandemic, according to Barrows and Forrester.

The Birmingham-based lettings agent reports that the usual urgency to secure a property is taking a back seat while lockdown restrictions remain.

It found 38% of all rental properties listed as available within 12 months have already seen a let agreed on them, while tenant demand for rental homes that are immediately available is far lower, with just 24% of properties having had a let agreed.

Barrows and Forrester analysed nearly 50,000 listings in the UK’s major cities, looking at tenant demand based on the ratio of properties already let.

Results show that the current trend is prominent across all but three of the 23 major cities, with just Belfast, Bournemouth and Aberdeen seeing stronger demand for more immediately available rental properties.

In Swansea, demand for immediate properties stands at 11% while those available in 12 months is 33%, while in Plymouth it’s 27% and 60% respectively.

MD James Forrester (pictured) says many tenants are in doubt over their current financial situation.

He explains: “As a result, many are wary about entering into lengthy tenancy agreements across our major cities when they may be able to secure a more affordable option in the surrounding areas.

“This has caused a major shift in rental market trends, with many choosing to sit tight and plan for life after Covid.

“This is a stark contrast to traditional market speeds where you could quite literally blink and miss a newly listed rental property within hours of it being listed because demand was so high.”

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