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World Renters seize on lower costs to live in UK cities

13:45  12 may  2021
13:45  12 may  2021 Source:   bbc.com

Rental market unusually uncertain, Nationwide says

  Rental market unusually uncertain, Nationwide says The building society's buy-to-let arm says housing preferences shifted during the pandemic.It suggests the future is clouded by "economic uncertainty" and housing preferences shifting during lockdown.

Tenants are showing signs of returning to major cities to take advantage of rents that were lowered during lockdown, a report suggests.

a group of people standing in front of a store © Getty Images

Work and leisure restrictions, as well as younger adults returning to live with their families, meant demand dropped in the last year.

This in turn led to rent falls, including a drop of 9.4% in London, according to property portal Zoopla.

But, since Easter, it said demand had picked up.

City living

There was a two-speed rental market over the last year, according to the Zoopla figures.

Outside London, rents rose by 3% in the year to the end of March.

However, the cost of renting in some of the UK's big cities fell. In Edinburgh, it dropped by 3.2% and in Manchester it was down by 1%.

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In London, the drop was particularly pronounced. This meant average rents accounted for 42% of an average single earner income in London, down from 49% in March last year. That was considerably lower than the peak of 53% in late 2016.

London still remained a comparatively expensive place to rent a home. The national average sees rent take up 31% of a single earner's income.

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Demand among renters for city properties is starting to rise significantly again, the report suggests, with tenants looking out for particular characteristics in the light of Covid.

Private outdoor space is a priority. The proportion of renters searching for properties with gardens had doubled since last year, the report said.

Gold Coast residents forced to sleep in cars as rental crisis bites

  Gold Coast residents forced to sleep in cars as rental crisis bites The rental crisis on the Gold Coast has become so bad people are sleeping in their cars and caravan parks. One community centre manager even warned people to stay away.Rental vacancy rates have plummeted below one per cent in most parts of the Gold Coast - down to below half a per cent in many suburbs - including Burleigh, Arundel, Coolangatta, Coomera and Varsity Lakes.

Gráinne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said the availability of mortgages for people only able to offer a low deposit meant some were keen to buy a first home rather than rent, but this would be limited by economic uncertainty.

"The opening up of the economy and the slow return to business as usual as the vaccine rolls out means [rental] demand will continue to build over the summer as more people move to rent their first property - although, as ever, this will be dependent on the economy opening up in line with the planned timetable," she said.

"Demand will continue to rise in city centres as offices start to reopen."

Various surveys have shown significant rises in house prices for buyers over the last year.

How federal budget superannuation changes could increase your nest egg .
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