Searches by renters looking for a garden are the highest they’ve been this year according to Rightmove, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the UK.
The real estate portal said the figure is now almost double the level compared with the first week of lockdown, when total rental searches dropped 35% and physical viewings were put on hold
However, Rightmove said that since then rental searches have been recovering and are now 20% down, but homes with gardens have recovered significantly more and are at their highest for the year so far.
Rightmove said there are also signs that more renters want to live near a river or the coast, with Southsea, Cambridge and Worthing seeing the biggest rise in searches over the past two weeks of lockdown.
Rightmove’s commercial director and housing market analyst, Miles Shipside, said: “Having a garden is often a rarity for many rental properties in larger cities, and so it may be that during lockdown people are rethinking their needs and location and are searching for some outdoor space and tranquillity.
“That allure may draw them further away from where they have habitually lived and travelled to work from, as can be seen by some of the coastal locations that have seen the largest search increases.”
He added: “Interestingly we’ve not yet seen this trend mirrored by those looking to buy a home, perhaps as renting is usually a much quicker process and so renters are thinking sooner about what changes they want for their next place.
“Agents report they’re helping their landlords line up new tenants ready to physically view properties when restrictions are lifted and we’re also seeing a lower but steady level of tenant referencing taking place. Those properties with a garden are likely to be able to fill any landlord voids more quickly post lockdown.”