Leeds has witnessed a recent surge in demand for city centre properties due to lockdown restrictions easing and people flocking back to the bustling central hub. Not only are properties being snapped up by buyers, the rental market has also experienced a surge in demand. Sales agent, Zenko Properties, based on The Chandlers in Leeds city centre, noted a 35 per cent rise in demand for rental properties year-on-year, with many properties being signed for within 24 hours of release.

During the pandemic, the property market became turbulent, with people flocking to properties with outdoor space to accommodate COVID 19 restrictions, as well as those requiring additional space in order to be able to work from home.

This had a devastating effect on the property market, which became flooded with an unusual number of rental properties becoming available and not many people seeking city centre living at that time.

With lockdown restrictions now easing, this market downturn is shifting, with Zenko Properties seeing an increase in enquiries and rental viewings. Whilst some agents and businesses have many empty properties on their books currently, Zenko Properties has worked pro-actively to reduce their landlords void periods and are generating weekly offers to elicit more interest. Whilst many people have benefited from the stamp duty offering when buying houses, there isn’t a similar scheme for flats and apartments. However, Zenko Properties has been pleased to see that that hasn’t put investors, and buyers, off looking at city centre living and buy-to-let properties again.

Reflecting on the reasons for the recent surge in city centre property sales, founding director, Tobias Duczenko, said: "It has been possibly the strangest time for everyone, not least the property market. The city centre became deserted, with many people selling up or moving out of their rental apartments. The reasons were varied – from wanting more outdoor space, needing an office space so they could work from home or simply because they were unable to afford city centre living due to losing a job off the back of the pandemic. We’ve continued to market our properties and are now offering deals that should get investors, and the rental sector, moving in the right direction again. We always try to be forward thinking and are prepared for any eventuality so we are delighted to see that the property market is waking up again and things are moving at pace."

The recent upsurge in the market has seen sister office, Knowles Estate Agents, in Silsden, running out of properties to market due to how quickly the market is moving, proving this isn’t just a city centre upturn.

Tobias continued: “Last week two properties had multiple offers and agreed sales within three days of coming onto the market. The rental market is also seeing similar movement, with a general lack of stock there is an immense amount of interest with properties renting the same day. This has enabled us to increase rental prices by 10% - a quite different scenario to the preceding 12 months in the property market.”

Ian Darley MARLA from JLL was recently appointed to the team and will be overseeing Knowles, Zenko’s out of city centre sales and lettings team. Ian will be supporting Zenko with their plans to expand the organisation and will be a real asset to the existing team.

Tobias concluded: “It’s a very exciting time for the property market, and investors in particular, and we are excited for things to continue going from strength to strength over the coming months.”