On behalf of our Property Management and Estate Management teams we would like to thank all our clients and customers for their support in 2020. We would also like to wish all our tenants and leaseholders a safe and peaceful 2021.
2020 was without doubt, the most challenging year in modern times, with many of us wrestling our work lives alongside the safety of our friends, families, colleagues and loved ones.
We have seen real change in the residential lettings market with tenants now more focused on the longevity of their tenancy, quality of the accommodation, flexibility to work from home and of course, outside space or proximity to parks. That said, the residential lettings market has become more settled, rents more stable and the availability of high quality property more prevalent. This new rental landscape has been further complemented by residential developers moving into the Build to Rent sector and delivering brand new and exceptionally well built homes for long term let, helping to keep all landlords, both private and professional, focused on providing quality housing in what has become a very competitive market.
More than ever, our home is our castle and we recognise the importance of keeping the buildings and properties we manage in good order so as to protect, not only the client’s asset, but also the comfort and safety of our many leaseholders and tenants.
Cricket Corner and Perigon Heights - two market leading Build to Rent schemes launched in 2020
Find out more at https://www.perigonheights.co.uk/
Last year also saw the lettings sector embrace a variety of innovations that have served to give both landlords and tenants a greater variety of choice. In particular we saw the acceleration of tenants, when signing up for a new home, opting for a “Zero Deposit” guarantee, or other similar deposit replacement scheme. This alternative approach to security deposits gives tenants greater flexibility when choosing a new home, as well as peace of mind for the landlord in knowing they are safeguarded against problems.
We are thankful, despite the challenges of the Covid pandemic, to have been able to “fast-track” new tenancies by utilising innovative processes and technologies and we will continue to invest in technology this year, so watch this space…
Some interesting and not so surprising takeaways from 2020 are…
Location, Location, Location has been replaced by Space, Space, Space! At the top of a tenant’s agenda is now more likely to be a property with more rooms to enable home working or a garden or some sort of outside space to enjoy.
Who doesn’t love a puppy! We are seeing an increase in pet ownership, so it’s likely that potential tenants or buyers will have a pet, so how Bojo the Cockapoo fits into their prospective new home will be a consideration!
Tenants are staying longer - the average tenancy is now 3.9 years; compare that to a few years ago when it was only around 2 years. If tenants are happy and the property is well looked after, they will stay and landlords know this, so the longer you can keep a good tenant, the better.
Super Duper Triple fast internet connection – A major factor for a tenant; it was certainly a trend before Covid, but with more and more people working from home, it’s become a vital requirement. So much so we have seen tenants discount properties without seeing them, purely based on connectivity.
Reaching out to help more people…
Our office map shows a clear two way migration corridor that we see buyers and tenants moving through. Of course, many people still hanker to be close to London and major town centres, however the excellent communication links outside of London boroughs and towns, is attracting growing numbers of buyers and renters seeking to move to greener pastures.
All of Acorn’s offices and brands link together seamlessly which means we can aid you on your moving journey, whatever your property needs might be, as well as finding buyers the best mortgage products around.
Find out more at http://www.startmortgages.co.uk
2021 What to expect...
So, ever the optimists, we are confident that 2021 will be an improvement over 2020 (stating the obvious we know!). Across our network we have seen plenty of appetite from all areas of the business throughout the second half 2020, which has continued as we returned in 2021.
The housing market, with all of its various components, has such a big impact on the wider economic success of the country and it is vital that it continues to thrive, this year and beyond. There will no doubt be bumps in the road, but we remain confident that we will continue to see continued growth and positivity this year.
Most importantly, we are all looking forward to the roll out of the vaccination programme to protect the people of the UK and allowing us all to get back to some sort of normality.
As we have been saying to our own staff for the last ten months……stay safe and look after each other.
Paul Deveney - Main Board Director