UK lettings lull in April 2021

Following an increase in activity across the UK rental market in March, the latest figures from the Agency Express Property Activity Index have revealed a decline in activity, which is largely anticipated in April. National month on month figures for new listings ‘To Let’ fell at -13.2% and properties ‘Let’ at -15.5%. However, looking at the index’s pre COVID data we can see that year-on-year figures for both new listings and properties ‘Let’ were far greater.

Across the twelve individual regions recorded by the Property Activity Index, all regions bar two reported declines in both listings ‘To Let’ and ‘Let By’.

Scotland bucked the seasonal trend with figures for properties ‘Let’ at a robust 27.6%, but remained down compared to pre COVID figures. The East Midlands followed suit but remained on trend at 2.5%.

Regions to record the smallest declines in this month’s Property Activity Index included:

Properties ‘To Let’

  • Scotland -1%
  • North East -2.4%
  • North West 4.7%
  • Wales -5.3%
  • East Anglia -5.8%

Properties ‘Let By’

  • Wales -1.2%
  • South East -4.3%
  • North East -7.1%

The largest declines in this month’s index were recorded in the South West. New listings ‘To Let’ fell at -17% and properties ‘Let’ at -29.3%. Again, the index’s archive records show activity to be approximately 50% higher in 2019.

Commenting on the latest Property Activity Index lettings report, Ben Brookes Managing Director of Agency Express said: 

It is not uncommon for us to see a seasonal dip in activity throughout April. While this month’s decline is greater than pre COVID figures, it may be a mixed result of lockdown easing and focuses being elsewhere, less urgency to list properties, lack of suppliy and option. Looking forwards, based on historical trends we would now expect a pickup in activity during May and a further increase in June. As we move into these months it will be interesting for us to see how the year-on-year comparisons fair.

Monthly % Changes for April 2021

% Changes for Feb - April 2021

New Listings
% Change over last 12 months vs Previous 12 months

Properties Let
% Change over last 12 months vs Previous 12 months

New Listings Properties Let
Apr 21 Apr 20 Apr 21 Apr 20
NATIONAL -13.2 -97.8 -15.7 -97.7
Central England -16.6 -99.9 -14.6 -99.6
East Anglia -5.8 -95.8 -19.5 -96.7
East Midlands -15.7 -99.4 2.5 -98.2
London -19 -96.7 -20.6 -98.8
North East -2.4 -94.8 -7.1 -96
North West -4.7 -94.8 -18.6 -95.3
Scotland -1 -97.2 27.6 -99.4
South East -22.7 0 -4.3 -99.1
South West -17 -98.2 -29.3 -96.1
Wales -5.3 -97.2 -1.2 -97.8
West Midlands -23.9 -97 -17 -97.4
Yorks & Humber -7.1 0 -24.5 -98.6
New Listings Properties Let
Feb -
Jan 21
Feb -
Apr 20
Feb -
Apr 21
Feb -
Apr 20
NATIONAL -0.3 -38.9 2.4 -36.3
Central England -1.2 -36.7 3.3 -33.3
East Anglia 1.1 -38.4 1.9 -38.4
East Midlands -1.6 -37.7 2.8 -40.3
London 1.9 -40.5 7.9 -34.8
North East -5.6 -34.6 -8.2 -38.3
North West -2 -36.1 -4.6 -34
Scotland 14.6 -34.2 12.6 -36.9
South East -6 -44.1 6.7 -35.7
South West -5.1 -41.7 -3.7 -35.9
Wales 5 -38.4 12.3 -36.2
West Midlands -4 -39.6 2.2 -37.8
Yorks & Humber 2.1 -38.4 1.3 -37.3
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