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London rental demand plummets

All regions of London are experiencing significant drops in rental demand, research from flatshare site SpareRoom has found.

West Central London has seen the biggest drop in demand at -43%, followed by East Central (-39%) and West London (-26%)

Ipswich (86%), Warrington (84%) and Northampton (82%) are experiencing the biggest increases in rental demand year-on-year.

Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom, said: “We know that London is losing its appeal among young renters, with COVID changing the way we feel about home and how we live.

“The first national lockdown made people think twice about living in cities, especially London, and it’s clear to see this hasn’t changed. The result is a boom in demand outside London.

“When we first saw the sign of this we wondered if it was a temporary blip but, as we head into the second year of living with COVID, it’s hard not to see it as a permanent shift and potentially even the start of a new chapter in the UK’s relationship with its capital city.

“It’s not just that people have left London, it’s that many of the industries that draw them there in such huge numbers are in crisis – that could take years to reverse. The positive in all of this is that it could herald the start of a UK economy that relies less heavily on one city.”