This Is How Many London Renters Are Planning On Leaving Post-COVID

Photographed by Meg O'Donnell
It's no secret that the pandemic has shaken up the London rental market, making some areas of the capital more affordable than they were before.
Now new research suggests that the capital's rental landscape will be changing again once the Pfizer Vaccine brings COVID-19 safely under control. In fact, SpareRoom's director Matt Hutchinson is predicting that London will be the UK's "biggest loser" in rental terms after the pandemic.
SpareRoom's research found that 27% of London renters are planning on moving after the pandemic, and just under half of them are intending to leave the city for good.
Of the 13% of London renters planning to move elsewhere, more than half said they don't want to move to another major city. This reflects the growing popularity of coastal towns and more peaceful parts of the country.
The research also highlighted the UK property market's affordability crisis with nearly 1 in 5 people saying they're still living with their parents into their thirties.
Commenting on the results, SpareRoom's Matt Hutchinson said: “We’re looking at a redrawing of the UK’s rental map in 2021 and London will be the biggest loser. Whether it’s down to the catastrophic effects of COVID on tourism, hospitality and the arts, driven more by lifestyle factors like wanting outdoor space, or simply the realisation that many jobs can now be done from anywhere, London living is losing its appeal for many."
He also noted that London rents have been "falling consistently" since the spring and predicted that what happens next could be even more interesting.
"This could be the start of a changing UK economy that relies less on London and the South East, as remote working becomes the new norm," he added. "If that’s the case, London rents are unlikely to recover quickly and house prices could follow suit once the stamp duty holiday ends.”

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