New data from property portal Zoopla has revealed the wish lists of people searching for a home to rent in 2021.
The data analysed the most common search terms used by would-be renters between July and September last year. It found that open-plan spaces and proximity to good schools has been replaced by a desire for gardens, balconies and a landlord who allows pets.
Gardens topped the list of most-searched for assets - the same as for properties to buy, where homes with outside space are commanding a premium. In central London boroughs, including Westminster and Islington where space is in short supply, balconies are top of movers’ lists of must-haves.
Parking and a garage were ranked as the second and third most-searched-for features nationally.
Searches for pet-friendly rentals came fifth, although in reality only 7% of landlords currently advertise their rental homes as suitable for cats and dogs. This is something which could change as the government is considering legislation to end pet bans.
At the higher end of the rentals market, a desire for on-site fitness facilities also ranks - with swimming pools (16th) and gyms (19th) both making it into the top 20.
Tom Parker, consumer expert at Zoopla said: “Last year was a year of unprecedented change in all aspects of life, such as how we work, socialise and relax; all now take place in our homes. The priorities that renters once looked for pre-lockdown may have changed to match the times we’ve been living in, particularly with gardens having become the most desirable feature across the whole of the UK.”
“We hope showing what renters want will help the rental market continue to adjust through these changing times,” he added.
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