One year ago, the lettings market ground to an abrupt halt. With viewings and moves prohibited under all but the most exceptional circumstances, the whole industry struggled to cope with the Covid19 pandemic. In the 12 months since, landlords have worked tirelessly to get the industry back on track and enable tenants to safely move house.
The early months of 2021 haven’t been as strong as the first quarter of 2020, which at the time surpassed expectations. Between 1st January 2021 and 13th March 2021, new letting volumes are 93% of those recorded over the same period in 2020. However, the pace of activity in March (to date) appears to be growing, helped along by the extension to the Stamp Duty holiday, pushing volumes much closer to those seen in 2020 before the pandemic hit.
The last 12 months has changed the way in which we live and work, we have had to embrace a digital world. However reluctantly, it has allowed us to maintain contact with family and friends and not just business colleagues. We have started doing things in a new way, working from home and along with virtual meetings this is now the new normal. As Landlords we now have virtual property viewings, and new government guidance to ensure Covid safe environments for landlords and tenants.
This is not an anniversary many of us will be celebrating. Over the last 12 months in the words of our government ‘we have gone from fighting in the dark to be turning the lights on’. This is not meant to be a frivolous comment, over 126,000 people have lost their lives, and many more now live with ill health, but in true British spirit during this pandemic we have all pulled together and with the help of a new vaccination and an effective Track and Trace, there is the first glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.