All our London lettings branches are reporting an excellent start to the year, with properties letting quickly and very strong demand for rental accommodation across the London postcodes. Enquiry levels are, generally, substantially higher than at the start of 2015 which in itself was very busy. Many of our offices are now reporting shortages of some types of property, particularly one bedroom apartments, so we are looking for new instructions from landlords in many locations.
We have had a good start to 2016 at our North London letting offices. In Hampstead, we have seen strong demand for properties across the board. Enquiries are coming in from relocation agents too, at what is usually a quiet time of year for them. Typically they are searching for two, three and four bedroom furnished properties and we also have enquiries for high end homes priced over £2000 per week. We’re seeing more requests for furnished properties, even from applicants planning to move to Hampstead long-term, which might indicate they are renting out their own properties back home. As ever, there is high demand for smaller rental properties in Hampstead and we currently have a shortage of one bedroom apartments following a flurry of activity in January.
In Highgate, our lettings office is reporting a similar picture. Rental demand is strong as usual for one and two bedroom properties but we are also seeing unusually good demand for properties priced at £1350 – £1500 per week at this usually quiet time of year for larger family homes. We are renting all the properties we have quickly and now looking for new instructions. Applicants are aware that there is competition for the best homes and are moving quickly to make an offer on their preferred property.
Demand for rental homes at Beaufort Park in Hendon is always high and 2016 is proving no exception. Our office is extremely busy and again showing noticeably stronger performance than at the same time last year. Demand is particularly high for studios, Manhattan and one bedroom apartments. The highest number of enquiries we are receiving are for the new Carvell, Chapman and Constantine apartments.
In Knightsbridge, our lettings office is reporting that rental demand has picked up quickly after the Christmas and New Year break and is busier than usual at this time of year. The level of enquiries we are receiving is increasing noticeably and our office has also been receiving a number of new instructions from landlords over the last few weeks. Nearby, in Kensington, we are also seeing good demand although the market remains price sensitive with applicants prioritising value for money. Properties are attracting a tenant quickly if they are well presented and accurately priced and we have fully referenced, professional applicants looking for this type of property. The most popular types of properties are either new build apartments or period properties which have been refurbished to a very high standard.
Rental demand at our Hyde Park office is picking up considerably as we move into February and we are seeing increasing numbers of enquiries from young professionals, typically looking for a one bedroom apartment in a new development. Budgets are under some pressure though and applicants are keen to negotiate to find the best deal so properties should be accurately priced (and well presented) to attract a tenant quickly. Stability is a priority for many tenants, with many choosing to stay in a rental property for a second year, agreeing an increase in rent in line with RPI, rather than incur the costs of moving. Around 90% of tenants are renewing their tenancy at the moment. The end of 2015 was very busy and this, coupled with the high level of renewals, has left us short on stock so we are looking for new instructions from landlords as demand increases.
Our Ealing lettings office has been extremely busy since the start of the New Year and like many other offices is significantly busier than at the start of 2015. We are handling a lot of enquiries from corporate tenants, particularly Japanese applicants moving to London. Most properties are letting very quickly, particularly one bedroom apartments, so we are now looking forward to the next phase of apartments coming on stream in the Spring.
Interest remains high at the Fulham Reach development in West London and the year has got off to a good start, with strong demand and plenty of applicants. Two bedroom apartments are particularly popular and applicants have good budgets, typically £600-£700 per week. We are also regularly receiving new instructions from landlords so have good stock levels to meet demand.
At the Imperial Wharf and Chelsea Creek developments, the market is buoyant and we are busy handling enquiries from young professional tenants and overseas applicants relocating to London. This demand is strong across the board, for one, two and three bedroom properties and applicants have healthy budgets. We are also seeing exceptional interest in apartments at Chelsea Creek and, while we have a lot of fully referenced tenants looking for a rental property, we are quite short on stock so are looking for new instructions from landlords.
Our Canary Wharf office has had a positive start to the new year with plenty of enquiries. Rental properties are letting quickly, particularly those priced under £600 per week. We are seeing an influx of enquiries from young professionals, many relocating to London from Europe, particularly Spain, France and Scandinavia. Most young professionals have firm budgets and are looking to spend £330 – £340 per week for a one bedroom apartment or alternatively would like to share a two bedroom property in the £425 – £450 per week price bracket but the property must have similarly sized bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Our City office has also had an excellent start to 2016 with high demand from applicants and good stock levels. Luxury developments such as Goodmans Fields are performing particularly well. Tenants are becoming more demanding, especially at this higher end of the market, so presentation must be really first class but applicants are happy to pay a higher rent if the interior is immaculate.
Nearby in Wapping, properties are also letting quickly, with particularly strong demand for one bedroom apartments priced between £550 – £575 per week and studios at around £475 per week. Our new office here is also handling rental properties in nearby areas such as Shoreditch and Aldgate and rental demand across this part of East London is very buoyant. We do have shortages of smaller properties so new instructions are welcome. Business is brisk at our office at Marine Wharf in Surrey Quays – this is is another dockside success story and as the development offers such good value for money, we are finding that tenant demand just increases from month to month. In Greenwich, demand also remains high and we are seeing a lot of interest in developments such as Platinum Riverside and further east at Royal Arsenal Riverside. It is also noticeable that many applicants are moving to the area from other parts of London as they search for more affordable rental homes.
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