Over the last four months a specialist property lettings and management firm, which manages more than 800 rental homes in Leeds, has experienced record activity levels, after the market was brought to an abrupt halt in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Director, Guy Roberts from Adair Paxton, a firm that has a 160-year history in property, said: “Looking back to March, when Covid-19 was beginning to take hold, the market simply stopped mid-month, however those that were in the process of moving were still allowed to do so.
“We were heavily restricted in terms of marketing properties and moving new tenants into homes, which created a huge amount of pent up demand. Plus, during lockdown, lots of tenants decided to move for a whole range of reasons.
“We have therefore seen the number of new lets soar through June, July, August and September. Although the summer months are traditionally busy, August was a record month for our lettings division, with us completing more lets in August then our team has ever seen in the last seven years that I have been with Adair Paxton.”
Despite the record levels of activity, demand for city centre homes compared to those in the suburbs has reduced slightly, although the firm has started to let more city centre stock over the last few weeks. Guy said: “Demand for two-bedroom apartments in the city centre has fallen recently, partly due to people not being as keen to share, but those city centre apartments that have maintained or reduced rents, are now letting quicker, which is encouraging.”
Adair Paxton has also seen a shift in the student market. Guy said: “Despite universities reopening, demand from students, who often opt for city centre apartments, hasn’t really come back at the same levels as previous years. Understandably, overseas student numbers have also been down during early September, due to quarantine restrictions, but this has started to increase towards the end of September.”
Adair Paxton is reporting an increase in rents in the suburbs of Leeds. Guy added: “Properties in North Leeds and Headingley are letting well and proving particularly popular with professionals. Moving into October, we are continuing to be inventive and careful. Using videos to showcase properties alongside taking all the precautionary measures during physical viewings, with reduced numbers, masks, waiting outside and no block viewings.
“As we all learn to navigate Covid-19, it’s essential that we make it as safe as possible for clients to find the right property. As people are spending more time in their homes, we have seen an increase in demand for rental properties with outside space – even if its just a balcony.”
Adair Paxton currently manages over 800 residential properties, as well as the service charges for over 4,000 flats, in addition to a vast range of commercial property including retail units, offices, industrial property and mills across Yorkshire.