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Economic crisis ‘has widened divisions in rental market’

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent
·2-min read

The economic crisis has widened divisions in the rental market, with renters in more affluent areas able to move home while those in the least well off stay put, analysis suggests.

Between May and September, the number of homes let in the most affluent areas of Britain was 1.3% higher than the same time last year, according to Hamptons International.

But in the least affluent areas, the number of lets agreed was 14.8% lower over the same time period, it found.

Hamptons used government data on deprivation as part of its research, comparing the number of homes let in the top 10% most affluent areas with the bottom 10%.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said: “Over the course of the pandemic tenants are more likely to have seen their incomes hit than homeowners.

“But the economic crisis has also widened divisions within the rental market.

“While the top of the rental market has flourished over the summer months, the number of renters in the least affluent areas of the country moving home remains down on the same time last year.

“Tenants living in the least affluent areas of the country are most likely to have been impacted by the economic crisis and this has made it harder for some renters to move home – typically at a time when they need to prove their income and pass referencing checks.

“The rental market continued to bounce back in September, yet some of the least affluent areas have seen the rate of recovery move backwards.

“This will weigh down on the market’s revival as a whole, meaning despite strong year-on-year growth in the number of homes let between July and September, it is likely that fewer tenants will move in 2020 than in 2019.”