The Office for National Statistics have been busy bees this week.
The headline figure for the week, was a 20.4% dip in GDP across the UK, BUT it has also been reported that there’s only been a 3.2% decline in the sales and lettings industry.
If we compare this to the 86.7% drop for accommodation and food services, it really puts this figure back into perspective.
What does this mean?
Although no-one knows what’s going to happen, back in 2008/2009 the Private Rented Sector (PRS) was the only positive market, and really buoyed up the sector as a whole.
According to the ONS, the number of people in work decreased by 220,000 quarter-on-quarter. This was the largest quarterly decrease since May to July 2009 at the peak of the financial crisis. These figures don’t include the high number of those who are furloughed, those on zero hour contracts with no shifts, or people on temporary unpaid leave from a job – as on paper, they all count as being in employment.
What does this mean for landlords?
Consistent with our previous surveys, the latest data demonstrates that the vast majority of landlords and tenants are working together constructively to sustain tenancies, and most critically, the overwhelming majority of tenants are paying as normal.
Eviction isn’t, and doesn’t need to be an inevitable outcome where tenants have struggled to pay their rent due to Covid-19 and we’ve found all the noise surrounding rent arrears and evictions with a focus on these, is fanning the flames of needless anxiety for lots of tenants.
95% of tenants we work with have been able to continue paying their rent, and 99% of our landlords were happy to work with those who had reduced income due to being put on furlough.
A brilliant solution
The National Residential Landlords Association is now calling for government guaranteed hardship loans to be made available to tenants who are in arrears due to the pandemic.
Ahead of the winding down of the furlough scheme, the NRLA argues that these loans should be provided to tenants, interest-free, and ring-fenced solely to cover rent payments. This is a brilliant solution for tenants and landlords alike.
Demand for rentals
The demand for rentals is still high, we recently had several viewings booked for a 3 bed in St Ives for £825 per calendar month and had three offers!
As well as these blog updates, Maxine regularly does videos on our Facebook page, so if you want to keep up to date with the rental market in the Huntingdon and St. Ives area, give our page a like.