'Flexibility of the rental market will help it bounce back quickly': Tenants begin to plan their next move as they look to life after lockdown

The drop in demand occurred in the last two weeks of March amid the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown being announced in Britain. Load Error The increased uncertainty means households looking for a home will turn to the rental market first to meet any immediate housing needs, it said. 'As with the whole housing market however, activity levels and rental growth will likely be closely aligned to the economic landscape of the UK once the lockdown eases and the immediate impact of Covid-19 starts to recede. 'However, if the responses to Covid-19 contribute to a rise in unemployment, as some official bodies have forecast, this will reduce the scope for any additional growth in rents. This is except for those searching in London, where there has been a marginal shift in demand with the largest proportion of interest on properties with rents of between £1,200 and £1,300 a month. This could be partly attributed to a change in the financial circumstances of some tenants, according to Zoopla - although it said it was also 'premature' to conclude if this trend will persist. The index also reveals that the annual rate of rental growth flattened in March, which reflects seasonal trends as well ramifications of the coronavirus lockdown. While a lack of supply and slower new investment has supported the uplift in rental growth in the past two years, a sustained delivery of new supply from new build schemes is likely to be adding to availability for renters and keeping rental growth in check, it added. Demand in the Zoopla rental index refers to individuals who are actively viewing and engaged in finding out more about property, which includes enquiries and browsing online. Asaf Navot, of Home Made, said: 'Lockdown hasn't removed the need to find a place to live - and it certainly isn't stopping Londoners viewing properties, they're just doing it virtually.'