Anecdotally, if you were to ask most landlords and investors how their 2020 went, they’d probably tell you they had a pretty good year, all things considered.
With everything that happened in 2020 it’s something of a relief to see the light at the end of the tunnel as the UK starts to navigate its way out of the global health crisis.
Somewhat surprisingly, depending on your views, the UK government appear to have cut a world-beating path through the potentially treacherous path to sourcing, approving and delivering vaccines.
Currently third in the world for vaccines delivered as a percentage of the population (behind Israel and Saudi Arabia, respectively), Boris Johnson’s government are finally basking in the metaphorical sunshine of a huge success and what appears to be an ever closer normal spring and summer time.
There are questions, of course, of what that picture may look like internationally as the EU apparently struggles to keep pace with the rest of the world, but domestically most are now predicting that any time between April and June the UK will be back to some relative form of normality.
Property prices grew sharply last year, along with property demand and yields despite fairly restrictive rules in place for much of the year, so it’s not surprising that landlords are feeling bullish about this new year.
New research published in Property Wire has revealed that ‘The majority (66%) of landlords expect house prices to rise in 2021.
Three quarters (76%) are still keen to seek urban opportunities over rural ones, despite reports of people leaving cities due to the pandemic.’
This echoes much of what we’ve been talking about recently as we expect the focus to shift in urban areas from work to socialising and green spaces. This, in itself, isn’t likely to see people emigrating from urban centres but, more likely, that the demographics will change fairly quickly.
That’s not to say that the priorities of these demographics won’t change the focus of landlords, investors and developers as people are expected to spend more time at home, but demand will continue.
Cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Nottingham were seeing an influx of workers and young professionals before 2020 and were some of the fastest growing cities in Europe before restrictions were put into force last year.
That’s thought to have created a fair amount of pent up demand in the housing sector and the expectation is that will be released from spring onwards as more and more people look to move home or complete moves into urban centres.
For landlords 2021 is looking like another very good year as demand continues to increase over the months but supply struggling to keep up. In cities across the North West new projects are starting all the time and, in fact, more than almost any other time in the past ten years, however, this won’t keep up with demand in the cities.
Another key point to remember is that, come September, students will be returning to some level of normality around city centres too and this is set to influence housing demand hugely as more students than ever are expected to apply to universities in large cities.
Regardless of when these restrictions are lifted fully, it should be a bumper year for landlords and investors.