2020 started as usual with the robust and bullet-proof Edinburgh property market for rental experiencing high demand for all property types. Edinburgh is now witnessing the highest level of price growth out of any major UK city and 2020 was set to be a busy year.
Then COVID struck mid-March and overnight the need instantly ceased.
With all of us forced into lockdown, the golden rule was to stay home. For those who may have been looking into moving or were in the process of moving, the process stopped. Staying put was the only option we had. The industry usually experiences a similar drop off around the Christmas period, but this was nothing by comparison.
WHAT CHANGED FOR THE EDINBURGH PROPERTY MARKET?
The short term market / Airbnb hosts found themselves in no-mans-land with full occupancy 2020 calendars destroyed and all bookings cancelled. Many of these hosts have transferred their stock onto the long term market which has increased much-needed supply of longer-term private rented stock.
Agents over the past four months have been forced to become more creative in terms of how they market properties and operate; with many of them adopting video e-tours as standard practice. Negotiating tenancies via “Zoom” calls, e-signing, e-inventories, and remote key-collection have all become standard practices, and many of these are here to stay.
WHAT’S IT LIKE NOW?
On Monday 29th June 2020, after 13 weeks of restrictions on house moves in Scotland, the Scottish property market officially re-opened. Four months on, the Edinburgh property market has returned to some form of normality. Rental demand is almost at pre-COVID levels; some property companies are even stating that this said demand is higher than pre-COVID! The once bulging empty property stocks are nearly full once again and we suspect that rents will continue on their upward journey.
Guest Blog written by Byram Tavadia of Zone Letting