British and EU citizens always make up the bulk of renters in our markets. In this period the balance tipped towards Brits who made up 40% (compared to a long term average of 32%) while Europe maintained its share at just over one third. The increased share of British renters is unsurprising during the pandemic when travel was restricted.
While there is a broad spread of other nationalities, no other group had a significant share . Normally, Far East is a larger group but that tends to be boosted in half 2 by overseas students.
The vast majority of tenants who took new leases in the first half of 2021 were aged between 25 and 40 years old. It is a wide age band and in the first half of the year, does not generally include students who normally come to the market in Q3 and reduce the average age over the whole year. This is out of line with the 5 year average of 66% but is explained by the seasonality of the student market.
The age structure has been particularly skewed in this period. Older renters, over 40, are often well paid office workers on short term contracts – a category of renter which was all but lost to our markets during Covid. We expect them to return.
Around a quarter of all the people who rent through our offices are employed in the Banking/Financial sector. That share has been consistent since we began collecting this data. The only significant variation is students and that is seasonal. Over the course of a whole year, they too make up around a quarter of all rentals.
TMT made up a larger proportion than in the past, increasing from an average of 9% to 12% this year. Tech companies are large employer in our markets now and they bring with them a highly mobile and well-paid workforce which will support the rental market as the city re-opens. As a sector, tech was early to adopt agile working but it seems that they still value the benefits associated with physical office spaces.
The proportion of new lettings to sharers is below the long term average but that is influenced by the student market which peaks in Q3. Over the whole year, we expect to see a fairly even split between singles, couples and sharers. Families who rent remain a rarity in our markets.