One of the top performing buying and letting portals, has published the most popular search terms that potential clients used during September 2022

Top of the list is “bills included” – this was 6th in the list a year ago. Second is “pets”  which was top last year. “Furnished” is third and still in the same position as this time last year. “Balcony” has moved down to fourth place from second, and fifth is a “garden” which was forth last year.

Properties that were built specifically for renters, often have utility bills included within the rent, while some come with other costs covered, such as WiFi, and council tax. Having these costs included in the rent has meant that searches for this type of property has risen over 36% in the last year. The requirement of an outdoor space (garden or balcony) which at the start of the pandemic was seen almost as a necessity, is still in demand, but now the desire for extra space has come forward, with clients stating one bedroom rather than a studio flat. The rise of the home office has had a lot to do with this, especially as people try and separate their working environment from their home life.

Apparently, the wish for solar panels has moved from position 500 in November 2021, to 98th place 8 months later, and heat pumps moved from 1000th place up to 190 in the same period. The portal does not state if interested parties are actually inputting their entire top 200 requirements into the search parameters, or if these jumps in figures are a matter of interest, once the top few search terms has yielded their results.

The search area that clients are inputting has also doubled, from the 70 square kilometres a year ago, as people have more options to work at least part time from home.

The demand for good quality accommodation still outstrips the supply, a quote from the portal states: “The lack of homes is down to more people choosing to stay put, and sign longer contracts; some landlords selling up due to more onerous taxes; others taking advantage of record house prices; and hybrid working, shifting some demand to more rural and suburban pockets of Great Britain. This has all led to a fiercely competitive rental market in many areas, with agents reporting that in some cases, properties are being rented out in just a few hours.”