The frantic desire to move bought on by the pandemic has been felt in the rental market too. Last month it took just 8.9 days on average to let a property in Great Britain, the shortest amount of time recorded since our records began in 2013.
Over the last year, as movers have sought more space and working from home has become more common, country pads have overtaken city homes as the fastest properties to let. The average home in the countryside let in 8 days, down from 31.9 days in April 2019. While city homes took a little longer to let, 10.6 days on average, this figure is still a record low.
Much of this comes down to supply and demand. There were 45% fewer homes available to let in Great Britain in April 2021 than there were in April 2019, with half of regions recording falls of 50% or more. A lack of stock has meant that for the first time ever, more than half (54%) of rental homes in Great Britain were let within a week. In the country, three in five (60%) homes let within a week, up from just 16% during the same time two years ago.
And so perhaps unsurprisingly, rents are on the rise too. Across Great Britain rents rose 5.9% annually in April, the fastest rate of growth since January 2015. And outside the capital, rental growth hit double digits for the first time on record. While the current stamp duty holiday has boosted investor purchases a little, we are yet to see these flow into new instructions and improve choice for tenants. And so time to let is likely to remain low for the foreseeable future.