“I think the letting side of our business will go from strength to strength. I think the indications were there at the start of this year, as we were forecasting a very, very good year,” says Richard Poole, Partner at Michael Poole Estate Agents.
Michael Poole Estate Agents has seen the lettings side of the business grow over the past 20 years as members of ARLA. “Our agency started in 1994, mainly in sales, but then slowly integrated into lettings,” says Poole, a past ARLA rep for the North East. “The residential lettings side, it’s a busy business.”
Poole believes that their lettings activities will continue to grow, despite the pandemic. “The appetite will still be there when we come out with this, providing there isn't too much unemployment and it doesn't go on too long,” says Poole. “If certain key businesses are allowed back in a phased kind of format, it will still be there.”
The number of landlords investing in the market will also remain strong when lettings activities can resume in earnest, believes Poole. “The appetite to be a landlord and buy to let, I don't think will go away very quickly. We're firmly of the belief that the lettings market will bounce back and we'll be all guns blazing before the end of the year.”
Poole sees rental trends in Teesside following similar patterns to the larger cities - which he anticipates continuing in the long term. “The way the housing market has gone over over recent years and the amount of people who now rent, even in an area is like Teesside - I know we're not the capital, we don’t have that kind of infrastructure and the kind of support or business levels that those areas have, but the lettings model is exactly the same here,” says Poole.
“The younger people will still want to rent and people still see renting as a long term option, as opposed to buying or owning their own home. Maybe on a reduced level but it is still a very similar mode,” says Poole.
This resilience of the lettings side of the property market is keeping Poole optimistic for the future. “We just want to be positive. We want our landlords and the Teesside general investment public to realise that we're still here, we're still working - and that the lettings market hasn't gone away. It's still a good investment and any advice that we can give, we're here to help.”