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The monthly magazine providing news analysis and professional research for the discerning private investor/landlord

Huge Shift in The Lettings Market

Sally Lawson CEO of Concentric Lettings comments

I must admit I am a bit of a figures person and I know my numbers, in fact I seem to pre-empt what I'm going to see and therefore am rarely disappointed, but I did have a shock this week when reviewing the figures for one of my oldest branches.

The ratio between tenant applications received and then completed as in 'moved in' had hugely dropped, and not by just a few points, we are talking from 95% down to 54% no less. Now normally when I see this particular figure drop, it is usually because the administrator is being too slow, or not keeping people up to date, or I have an inexperienced lettings negotiator that is taking applications from just anyone to get the numbers in but they are not proceedable, so it's fair to say I was ready for a fight

After nearly falling on the floor and starting to chunter about all that could possibly be going wrong, deals being lost etc. I then compared this data to my next oldest lettings agency branch and found exactly the same. My conclusion: this was a bigger problem than I realised, and needed acting on quickly; I had to find out why and where this statistic had come from and why it had changed so dramatically in just a few months.

Now we are all hearing about the shortage of property stock around at the moment, less people buying property, but also, less talked about is the fact that tenants are now staying longer. We have always worked on 5% of our managed rental properties being vacated every month, but in the last 12 months that has dropped to only 3% each month, and that means around 10 less properties coming available for a re-let per branch.

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