DEMAND for rented accommodation in Warrington has soared by 84 percent – the second-highest increase in the UK.
Only Ipswich, with 86 percent, has seen a bigger year-on-year rise. Liverpool has seen an increase of 14 percent and Manchester 4 percent.
The increases, revealed by new research by flatshare site Spareroom, come at the same time as London has seen falls in rental demand, peaking at 43 percent West Central London.
Demand for rented property across the capital has plummeted – with the pandemic getting the blame.
But elsewhere across the country, demand has increased – although less so in the larger cities.
SpareRoom director Matt Hutchinson 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.”
Commenting on the situation in Warrington, local agent Gary Pemberton from Belvoir Sales and Lettings said: “Demand for rental properties has gone through the roof over the last year. A lot of people have asked me WHY this sudden change. I feel it is a combination of the following factors :
“Employment: We have a very progressive & growing need for employees in the Warrington area due to the diverse industries in & around Warrington. This has meant a natural uptake in demand.
Landlord Taxation: In April 2020 was the end of a 4-year tapering increase in taxation for landlords. This is bad news for renters as a lot of the traditional landlords have been selling up, thus reducing supply of rental stock. The landlord should be part of the solution to our housing crisis, instead, the government have whacked them over the head with increased taxation. Ultimately the only person who suffers is the person renting the property with increased rents due to supply & demand. There are new investors still entering the market, but not at the same rate as the landlords selling.
Housing Stock: Whilst Warrington has its fair share of apartments, it has a lot of traditional 2, 3 & 4-bed homes & sensible prices compared to its neighbouring cities ie, Manchester & Liverpool. The pandemic has highlighted the need for family living space for homeschooling & working from home, plus the desire for your own yard or garden. Warrington has a good proportion of its housing stock that meets the needs that have come from the pandemic.
Connected: Warrington is very well connected with motorways & trains, so a lot of people that work in the neighbouring cities, now live in more rural style towns like Warrington.
The Town: A lot of people knock Warrington, however, it recovered really well with footfall during the easing of lockdowns. There is huge amounts of private investment coming into Warrington for new developments in both commercial & residential. Watch this space as, over the next 10 years, Warrington will look & feel fabulous.
“We receive a crazy amount of enquiries for rental properties these days due to such limited supply. I would urge anyone who wants to rent a property, to ensure they react quickly, look at the on-line Virtual Tours & commit.”