As we look forward to what’s ahead in 2022, we can’t help but compare this year to last – and clearly the outlook is much more positive now than it was 12 months ago. In January 2021 we had just embarked on yet another lockdown, so life was difficult for many landlords – and tenants.
Move forward to 2022 and, while we clearly still have some challenges, the UK economy is already starting to recover and the future looks a lot brighter now there is little possibility of further lockdowns and travel restrictions.
Rental enquiries still very high
Rental demand in London is increasing again after the Christmas break and we have bounced back very quickly, with enquiries picking up from early January. The number of applicants that we are registering as I write, is up over 150% compared to the same period in 2020, before the pandemic started and up 47% versus 2019. Usually it can take a while for rental demand to build at the start of the year but this clearly indicates that demand from applicants is strong and budgets are good. Corporates and international students have returned to London in droves, keen to resume their careers after lengthy periods working from home. So, there is still a lot of pent-up demand from renters and we expect this to drive forward the market over the next few months. The biggest challenge we now face is the acute shortage of available rental properties.
Shortages of good rental properties in London set to continue
With such high demand, shortages of good rental properties will remain a challenge for all letting agents in London. We have waiting lists of fully referenced tenants ready to move into new homes but many will have to wait for much longer than they had anticipated until a property becomes available.
Challenges presented by the pandemic
A key issue we’ve faced also over the last few weeks, along with most other companies, has been staff isolating with Covid 19. During the latter part of December 2021 we were operating with fewer staff than normal but most are now back and, in any eventuality, our staff are digitally armed with all necessary tech and able to work from home, if necessary, to minimise any impact on business.
New instructions at London’s most popular residential developments
Over the next few months several new property developments are due to complete and we are already talking to landlords about letting their properties, so with new instructions coming to the market, we hope the situation will ease a little. Popular developments include Cashmere Wharf at London Dock, South Quay Plaza and Landmark Pinnacle – all in East London. In the City, One Bishopsgate Plaza has also started to complete over the last few days and we are receiving enquiries here.
In West London, we have further new instructions lined up at The Green Quarter in Southall which has been a hugely popular scheme for us. And at The Horlicks Quarter in Slough, close to Heathrow Airport, meeting demand from professionals happy to live a bit further out of the Capital at lower rents. We also expect to see numerous instructions coming on stream at Wembley Park, an area within an easy commute of central London that is seeing dramatic regeneration.
Other areas where demand is consistently high includes Beaufort Park, a St George development in Colindale, North West London, where we’ve had a branch on-site since 2006. Also in Nine Elms Point in Vauxhall, Battersea Power Station and 250 City Road in Shoreditch. Across the Capital, demand for these types of brand-new properties to rent in London will continue to be high.
Landlords – please call us to arrange a free rental valuation !
If you are a landlord and let your property in early 2021, so the tenancy is now close to renewal, please get in touch with your nearest Benham & Reeves branch.
Rents have been increasing over the last few months due to the shortages of stock – in some cases by more than 5%. So as market conditions have changed dramatically in the last few months, we may be able to help you secure a higher rent. Now is the time to obtain an up-to-date rental valuation to make sure you are achieving a competitive market rent. Please contact our experienced staff at to arrange an appraisal.
READ MORE: London’s rental market ends 2021 on a high
View all posts by Anita Mehra