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London Rental Market – August 2015

Despite being in the middle of the holiday season, London rental demand remains strong. Some of our offices have experienced a brief lull as applicants prioritise holidays over moving home, but equally we continue to see high demand in many sectors of the market. Executives with good budgets are looking for large family homes as they wish to find a property and have their children settle in before the start of the new school term in September – areas like Hampstead, Highgate, Kensington, Bayswater and Notting Hill are very popular due to their proximity to good schools.  Students too are out in force looking for homes before their university terms starts.  And as ever, we are seeing high numbers of young professionals moving to London, particularly young graduates fresh out of university.

Central London

5 bed house to rent in Notting Hill Gate, W11 £3,250 pw
5 bed house to rent in Notting Hill Gate, W11 £3,250 pw

After a quieter few weeks in July, rental demand around Hyde Park and the surrounding areas is already picking up again as applicants start to look ahead to moving home in the autumn. We are receiving increasing numbers of enquiries for all types of rental property. In particular, we’re very busy with corporate clients, senior professionals from the law, IT, banking and investment banking sectors. They tend to be looking for large family homes – high end properties in Notting Hill, Hyde Park and Bayswater priced at £1000 – £3000 per week but we don’t currently have enough stock to meet demand. They are understandably keen to find a home before the start of the September school term.

We’re also busy with enquiries from students looking for rental properties in W2.  They have been looking earlier than usual as they recognise they can find better choice and more keenly priced properties if they plan ahead. Many have found that waiting until the end of August can mean the best properties have already been taken.

Demand from professional couples is also good and slightly higher than this time last year with enquiries via our website and the property portals up by 4.2%. Many are relocating to London for the first time but we’re also seeing quite a few who are simply choosing to move to W2 so they can try living in a new area. 3 Merchant Square remains one of the most sought-after developments in Paddington Basin and 4 Merchant Square is also very popular. We’re now receiving instructions in the exclusive, new Fitzroy Place development in Fitzrovia and we expect rental demand here to be high too.

Across the board, we have been receiving plenty of new instructions from both overseas and local landlords so we have a good supply of rental properties in W2 to meet increasing demand.

City, Canary Wharf, Docklands and East London

2 bed flat to rent in Canary Wharf, E14 £590 pw
2 bed flat to rent in Canary Wharf, E14 £590 pw

We’re continuing to see strong rental demand across the City, Canary Wharf and stretching east to Docklands. One, two and three bedroom properties are letting quickly and applicants have good budgets. We’ve been particularly busy with students looking for homes before the start of the September term, many were securing a property as early as July to ensure they find a nice home. They start looking as early as July to ensure they get the best choice and are happy to pay rent on a flat during the summer even though they won’t be moving in until September. We’re also seeing plenty of graduates looking for homes as they move to London to take up their first jobs. Fortunately, we have good stocks to meet demand.

With so much regeneration taking place in East London and Docklands, applicants are actively looking beyond the City and Canary Wharf to areas such as Bermondsey, Surrey Quays and Deptford where there are attractive new developments springing up and where they can find good value for money. Built on former brownfield sites, these developments are improving the profile of these previously unfashionable areas, with landscaped gardens, shops and new infrastructure. Improving transport links mean a faster commute to the city and central London which is a real gamechanger in terms of enhancing their appeal to renters.

Developments like Bermondsey Works, Marine Wharf and Greenland Place are all attracting a lot of interest, enabling renters to find high quality accommodation without paying a premium price. With such demand in the region, we’ll soon be opening a new branch at Marine Wharf, this will allow us to concentrate more on lcoal lettings and provide an on-the-spot service to people who want to live in this popular new development. We’re even seeing applicants moving here from West London areas like Kensington and Chelsea to find a more affordable home closer to their place of work. This often dramatically reduces their commute from a half hour tube ride to perhaps a 10 minute walk. Quality of life comes top of most wish lists.  Living in East London may have seemed like a compromise a few years ago but certainly not now that it is a thriving residential area.

North/North West London

3 bed maisonette to rent in Hamsptead, NW3 £1,595 pw
3 bed maisonette to rent in Hamsptead, NW3 £1,595 pw

This is one of the busiest times of year for us, and the rental market in Hampstead is extremely buoyant.  Demand is strong for high end properties as senior professionals relocating to London from overseas look for large, family homes with at least three bedrooms and a garden. They’re aiming to be settled in a new home by the time the new school terms starts in September and ideally they wish to be in the catchment area of Hampstead’s excellent schools and close to international schools such as the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle. Budgets are usually in excess of £1000 per week.

Young professionals are busy looking for one and two bedroom properties which are also letting quickly, usually within a couple of weeks –  they too like some outside space but this will usually be a balcony.

Properties close to the Heath always let very quickly and a location within a five minute walk of the tube is always a priority for tenants. Generally budgets are good. Landlords are recognising this and are being more flexible about rents and more open to offers from tenants.

For more information about the London Rental Market and investment opportunities within the Capital contact our friendly staff here. If you are interested in the rental value of your property try our valuation tool which produces a free, instant report.

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About the Author

For 35 years Anita has been the driving force behind Benham and Reeves’ success as it has grown from a single branch in Hampstead, to one of central London’s oldest, independently owned sales, letting and property management companies. Anita's vision has driven the expansion of the business to offer a complete range of property investment related services from under one roof, from purchase to handover, furnishings and/or refurbishment to lettings and property management. Read more about Anita Mehra here - Read full profile

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