Things are starting to get back to normal

Will Leyland, 05 March 2021

It’s been a tough 12 months up to this point, let’s be honest.

Thankfully for us all, the path forward is now clearer than ever, and the normality of our daily lives without restriction is getting so close we can almost taste it. In fact, a Twitter account counting the days down until June 21st gained over 50,000 followers in less than a week.

Of course, the road back to normality is fluid and can change, but the collective sense of relief and excitement knowing that there is a reasonably good expectation that we’ll be free by the summer is palpable.

One thing that’s become apparent across the previous year is that private renters have quickly and markedly shifted their expectations and priorities when it comes to their housing situation.

Working from home, teaching from home, keeping fit from home and other activities that were once reserved for outside the house have put the focus on people’s living situation, not to mention who you live with - there’s nothing quite like spending a year indoors with somebody to reveal how you really feel about them.

Here, we’ll take a look at broadly what the plan looks like and how we think it will affect housing and the Private Rental Sector (PRS)

The Plan

Things kick off on the course back to normality on 8th March when kids go back to school, with all students returning at broadly the same time across England, and a staggered return across Scotland and Wales.

March 29th, at the earliest, sees some social interaction restrictions lifted where groups of up to 6 or two households can start meeting outdoors or in gardens. Outdoor sports can broadly return too with things like golf able to open back up.

April 12th, at the earliest would be when pubs and restaurants can start to serve food and drinks outdoors to customers if they’ve got outdoor seating, and the rule of 6 applies again here.

May 17th is when pubs, bars and restaurants can have customers back inside again but with limits on the amount of people, again with the rule of 6 or two households applying here.

June 21st is the one we’ve all been waiting for where all restrictions will be lifted in social interactions and, broadly speaking, we’re back to normal. These are all subject to everything going according to plan and the government were keen to say that these dates may be moved if required.

What does it mean?

In short, the economy is going to boom. People have been stuck inside for the best part of a year, and with a seemingly unending stream of bank holidays set to come in a steady course once restrictions start to lift then we’re likely to see that V-shaped recovery promised by the Bank of England.

What does it mean for renters? Well, with jobs and economic recovery comes an increase in wealth and disposable income.

We’ve already seen a large reset occurring in 2020, with many older renters moving out into the suburbs and a surge in young renters looking for property in the city as they move out from home earlier than planned.

If you thought it was tough getting good rental property last year, then the summer is going to take things to a new level as consumer confidence returns and people are once again able to commit to long term financial agreements.

Broadly speaking, what we’re saying is that if you’re considering moving then you may want to get your skates on as things are set to get busy, very busy indeed.


Will Leyland, 05 March 2021