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10 Feb 2021 | 07:38

Grainger performing well despite occupancy delay

(Sharecast News) - Grainger said it was performing well though occupancy of private rented homes was taking longer than expected to recover.

The residential property rental group said a recovery in occupancy at its private rented sector (PRS) homes had been delayed by new Covid-19 restrictions. Grainger is experiencing strong enquiry levels from potential PRS customers though with spring move-in dates.

In the four months to the end of January like-for-like rental growth was 2.4% and rent collection was 98%, Grainger said in a statement before its annual general meeting. Residential rent arrears were 1.9% and PRS occupancy was 90%, little changed from the end of the last financial year.

Sales performance is positive across regions and forward-looking sales are priced 1-2% higher than valuations, Grainger said.

Helen Gordon, Grainger's chief executive, said: "While we have seen a delay in the anticipated recovery of occupancy in our PRS portfolio, particularly in London, due to the new restrictions imposed since the Christmas period, we are seeing strong levels of new enquiries among prospective PRS customers, albeit with the majority of interest focused on move-in dates in the spring, pointing to a strong lettings market when restrictions are lifted."

Grainger shares fell 0.6% to 268.8p at 08:02 GMT.

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