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Tenants rushed to secure new properties in March before the shutdown

There was a surge in demand from renters in early March before they became unable and unwilling to move, research from Goodlord shows.

There was a surge in demand in the first week, before activity fell away from 7 March.

Tenancy volumes currently sit at around 60% compared to this time last year.

Tom Mundy, chief operating officer at Goodlord, said: “It’s been an unprecedented month for the whole economy and the property market has been at the sharp end of the impact.

“But whilst we’ve seen a dramatic decline in the last ten days compared to 2019, the lettings market is and will continue to be needed.

“As tenancies expire and contract renewals are needed, agents will continue to play a crucial role in ensuring that this process can still be handled quickly and securely and the temporary changes to right to rent mean that can take place almost entirely remotely.

“While no one knows how long the current restrictions will last, we can be confident that a sharp increase in demand will be recorded in the lettings markets as soon as measures are loosened.”

The average rent for a UK property increased during March, reflecting the demand for tenancies during the first half of the month.

All regions apart from the South West recorded an increase in average rental costs.