News: Covid prompts surge in niche ‘medium term’ rentals

Mon, 03 May 21

An online corporate rental platform says Covid 19 has led to a six-fold increase in demand for medium-term rentals in this country.

Homelike, a German-based service specialising in high end furnished lettings across Europe, says the boom follows the country’s emergence from lockdown.

Half of all bookings for stays of over 30 days are now booked digitally and 60 per cent of its bookings are for UK rentals.

It has some 75,000 property listings across Europe including those in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford, Liverpool, Bristol and Cambridge.

It says that although corporate relocation is its key market, many mainstream customers have been using medium-term rentals for family visits during and after the pandemic in the UK.

While the corporate relocation property market was badly hit during the early phases of Covid, with business people locked down, the UK market widened to include non-business customers.

“It’s interesting to see how the UK market differs from our other regions in terms of bookings. It’s much more balanced across all areas, rather than being solely driven by business travellers” says the company’s UK representative Cherry Wang.

“In 2020 in the UK, length of stay actually grew by five per cent to 82 days versus 2019. This was perhaps driven by the need for people to stay in one place as much as possible, so once our clients had found accommodation, whether for work or relocation, they stayed put for safety and Covid reasons. 

“Into 2021, this dropped right back by 10 per cent to lower than pre-pandemic. In turn, average monthly rent has also fallen by seven per cent versus 2020, to £2,500.  I think we need to be mindful of this going forward and ensure that our properties remain attractive and affordable to future customers.  

“Budgets are clearly going to be tight as schemes like furlough and government grants wind down and this will ultimately affect how our clients behave.”

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