The number of new tenants looking to rent a property has risen by more than a quarter, latest figures have revealed.
Data from the lettings body Propertymark said numbers rose by 27 per cent in January compared to the previous month.
The average number of tenants registering at each letting agent stood at 81 during the first month of the year, up from an average of 64 in December.
December is traditionally a quiet month for the housing market as people hold off moving home in the run up to Christmas.
However, despite the impact of coronavirus, Propertymark found that the average number of tenants registering at each letting agent this January was only marginally lower a year ago in January 2020, when it stood at 88.
The latest January figure of 81 is also higher than in January 2019, when it stood at an average of 73 people.
Regionally, the highest number of new tenants registered in each branch in the country was in Yorkshire and the Humberside, at an average of 138.
It's positive news for the rental market, which has faced the challenges of the global pandemic and the fallout of unemployment.
Experts point out that while the broader economic outlook is uncertain, the private rented sector has remained resilient – and that we're now seeing the optimism of the vaccine rollout.
Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser of Propertymark, said: “Our latest figures clearly show that the rental market isn’t indicating any signs of slowing down as demand for rental properties surged last month.
“Letting agents are continuing to support landlords and their tenants during these difficult times and it is imperative that tenancies are maintained to keep the rent flowing.
“Now we have a route out of the current lockdown, it's vital that continuity in the private sector is maintained to continue to help the nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic. To do this, the government must consider introducing a financial support package for those tenants who have built up rent arrears due to the financial impact of Covid-19.”
At the same time, the number of properties managed per letting agent branch fell from 204 in December to 196 in January. However, this is a slight increase from January last year, when there were 191 properties managed per branch, Propertymark said.
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