RSA: A fresh outlook on the UK property market


Stephen Michaels, RSA, SME Product and Channel Leader gives his thoughts on the current UK property market.

The property market is booming, therefore the need for Property Owners cover is higher than ever. Take a closer look at our Property Owners product.

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The UK SME landlord market has grown significantly over the past five years and demand for SME insurance products has never been so high. The number of households in the private rental sector increased by 1.7m between 2007 and 2017 and numbers post 2017 have continued to rise at similar levels. Growth continued into this year but 2020 has brought unprecedented changes and challenges to UK SME landlords in the form of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Whilst COVID has changed almost every facet of everyday life, one thing it hasn’t changed has been the requirement for landlords to insure their assets appropriately. Your customers will need your expert help and guidance even more as they navigate their way through a rapidly evolving marketplace. Whilst insuring their properties is a requirement, landlords will need help to choose the right insurance product for their needs and additional help and support will be needed on matters such as property risk management as the landlord sector continues to change in 2021.

In 2021 we expect to see continued growth in the numbers of people looking for affordable rented accommodation and the recent changes to stamp duty has seen a boom in landlords looking to add to their residential portfolios to meet this demand. However, whilst landlords could continue to look to grow their portfolios it is anticipated that rental costs could also drop; a trend already being seen in inner London where rents have fallen by 14.1% post first lockdown, according to data from Hamptons International.

For commercial property owners in the SME sector the pandemic will be bringing increased challenges to landlords primarily in keeping their properties occupied as SME businesses continue to feel the strain of lockdowns one and two. According to a recent report in The Guardian another 18,000 high street premises could be left empty in 2020, almost double the number in 2019, as the coronavirus pandemic hammers retailers, restaurants and leisure businesses. With more and more commercial properties sitting unoccupied, these bring additional insurance and risk management challenges to landlords, brokers and insurers alike.

RSA is live to these challenges, the changing circumstances and needs of your customers. During the first 120-day lockdown, RSA did not make any change to the premium or restrict cover as a result of unoccupancy for buildings that were temporarily closed following government guidelines. And now, as we move into our second national lockdown, we have provided the same commitment to customers for an additional 30 days and have continued to monitor the situation closely.

If you would like to talk to Stephen Michaels at RSA about the issues raised in this article CLICK HERE, leave a message and youTalk-insurance will pass your enquiry on


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