The London rental market – November 2019

Demand for rental accommodation in London remains quite literally, phenomenal! Many of our London lettings branches have completely run out of rental property stock recently and this has presented us with quite a challenge as try to keep up with demand from good quality, professional applicants. And while there are several new residential developments completing in London over the next few weeks, this new stock only goes some way to meeting the demand from tenants. If you are a landlord reading this and you have a rental property becoming available soon, please do contact us.

Rental success at Atlas Building

In the current market, well presented, accurately priced rental properties should let in a couple of weeks at most, although many apartments in London are letting after a single viewing, maybe in just a couple of hours, in particularly sought-after developments such as the newly released White City Living, The Atlas Building and Nine Elms Point where we let 23 apartments in ten days last month.

Unbelievably though, some landlords are telling us that their current agent is finding it difficult to let their property. With such strong rental demand across London, why is this?

Well, it is probably because the landlord has opted for the ‘easy’ option of using the development’s sales agent to let the property. But sales agents often lack lettings experience and contacts, so the property can take much longer to let, reducing the landlord’s rental yield.

So what should a landlord look for in a good letting agent? Of course, I must blow my own trumpet here!

  • Extensive lettings experience – Benham & Reeves has over 60 years’ lettings industry experience.
  • A network of local branches – we have 17 branches across London.
  • International offices and multi-lingual staff – we have international offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, China and India, all with locally employed, multi-lingual staff.
  • Japan and China desks in London – our Japan and China desks liaise with our many overseas clients to ensure a smooth, efficient service for landlords and tenants.
  • Dedicated marketing department – our marketing and web teams generates new enquiries using many Google products and other digital marketing platforms plus social media, e-marketing and traditional print media.
  • Comprehensive property services – sales, lettings, furnishing, property management.
  • Extensive contacts – we work with many FTSE and Fortune 500 companies, finding accommodation for their executives. We also have an extensive international network bringing a constant flow or good corporate applicants.

There are several new residential developments completing now across London – from Royal Mint Gardens, Lincoln Square, South Bank Place and Principal Tower, all in or close to the City financial district, to the Cornelia Apartments at Beaufort Park in Colindale and Habito in Hounslow, West London. If you are completing soon on a property in these or any other developments, please do get in touch with your local Benham & Reeves branch as we can find a good tenant for your buy-to-let property, ensuring you achieve a good rental yield.

The City and East London

Rental demand across the City and East London remains strong, even though we are well into the autumn months when we would normally expect enquiries to slow a little. We are still finding homes for international students moving to London and of course, young professionals, particularly those working in the tech sector. There are a number of new residential developments completing soon in the City which are already attracting a lot of interest from senior professionals with good accommodation budgets.

Royal Mint Gardens

Our City branch is currently taking on new instructions at Royal Mint Gardens near Tower Hill which starts completing this month. With its stunning location next to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, coupled with fantastic amenities, we expect demand here to be very strong. Studios are expected to achieve upwards of £475 per week, one beds £550+ per week and two beds £725+ per week. Also completing in November is Lincoln Square in Holborn, WC2, a luxurious development of apartments between Covent Garden and the City. Here, one bed apartments will be letting for upwards of £900 per week and two beds for upwards of £1500 per week. At South Bank Place in SE1, studios should achieve £600+ per week and one beds £725+ per week, and at Principal Tower in Bishopsgate, a landmark residential tower overlooking the City of London, one bed apartments will achieve £750+ per week and two beds £950+ per week. In Wapping, East London, Emery Wharf at London Dock is seeing strong rental demand from both students and young professionals keen to live in a high spec yet affordable apartment only minutes from the City. Manhattan apartments here are achieving £500+ per week and one beds £600+ per week. Our Surrey Quays branch is now handling a lot of new instructions at Elephant Park, part of a major regeneration project at Elephant & Castle. Affordably priced for such a convenient location close to central London, studios are achieving around £425 per week and one bed apartments £500+ per week. Our Canary Wharf and Greenwich branches are together handling enquiries for the Wellington Quarter, a new luxury development in Woolwich which is being met with a lot of interest from applicants looking for affordable yet high spec rental homes close to Woolwich Arsenal station. Asking rentals here are £295+ per week for a one bed and £375 per week for a two bed apartment.

Central London

Our Knightsbridge, Kensington and Hyde Park branches have had a very busy Q3 but demand is slowing now as we move into autumn, although October saw quite a few last-minute enquiries from students moving to London to study at renowned universities such as Imperial College and Kings College. During this peak season we let most of our stock and are again looking for new instructions. Victoria remains very popular with renters and demand for properties here just keeps increasing. Many applicants specify a particular development by name, with buildings such as The Nova Building and Kings Gate being particularly popular. As well as young professionals and students looking for high quality rental accommodation, we also see wealthy international applicants looking for super prime rental properties, including one international client who recently rented a two bed maisonette through us at The Knightsbridge. It is a stunning property, which has been recently refurbished and professionally interior designed – and our client was happy to pay £3200 per week for this truly exceptional home.

Nine Elms Point

The final phase of rental homes at Nine Elms Point, Gladwin Tower, has now completed and we have let all our properties there, so currently have no stock available. The first 25 homes let within just 10 days and six owners were able to choose between two offers for their property. Three applicants were competing for another property which resulted in an offer 10% above the asking rental being accepted – with a three year lease and no break clause. At the moment, we have a waiting list of fully referenced applicants waiting for the next property to become available. We are now looking forward to the next phase completing which is due to start in November or December. These are mainly two bed apartments and we already have tenants on a waiting list, ready to move in.

West London

Our West London branches – in Dickens Yard, Ealing, Kew Bridge in Brentford and Imperial Wharf near Fulham, continue to experience shortages of stock. Our branches have been inundated with enquiries from applicants looking for a new rental home in these areas and we are certainly busier than is usual at this time of year. But there are simply not enough properties to meet the demand, particularly at Dickens Yard and Kew Bridge. Properties are letting as soon as they become available. With most existing tenants renewing their tenancies and so little new stock available, most apartments are letting for asking rent. Our Kew Bridge branch has been receiving a number of new instructions at Habito, a new residential development in Hounslow and there has been a good response to this from applicants. Asking rents are upwards of £275 per week for a one bed apartment and £325+ per week for a two bed.

After an extremely busy Q3, with apartments at Fulham Reach and Sovereign Court letting very quickly, demand is now slowing a little after the peak although we continue to receive enquiries from relocation agents searching on behalf of families, single professionals and couples. We have let several apartments to Japanese corporates who make good tenants as they usually choose a minimum of a three year lease, meaning stability for landlords. We have also been receiving new instructions from landlords – some of these landlords had been using lettings agents in other areas and these were finding it difficult to let the properties as they weren’t familiar enough with Hammersmith. We have been taking on these instructions and quickly letting these properties.

North London

Our Beaufort Park branch remains very busy and at times we have completely let all our stock, with nothing new available to rent. There are still some students looking for last minute rental accommodation at Beaufort Park, as well as some who have started out living in student halls but are now looking for something of a better standard. Relocation agents are also busy looking for homes on behalf of overseas professionals – from the US, China, Russia, India, Germany and France in particular. In fact, relocation agents have been so busy finding homes for professionals here that one company has opened its own office at the development, which makes liaising much easier. There is also strong demand from IT professionals working in central London. The Cornelia Apartments are still completing so we do have more stocks gradually becoming available and we would love to speak to new landlords here with flats available to rent soon. For those tenants who have already moved in, there is another new attraction,the Asian Food Court which opened recently and is proving very popular.

In Highgate and Hampstead, our branches are also short of properties after a very busy few weeks when both branches let almost all their stock – one, two and three bed homes. We now have limited stocks which is unusual at this time of year. Most tenants, around 85%, are renewing their existing leases at the moment, further reducing supply. This means that apartments are letting very quickly and usually for asking rent so this puts landlords in a good negotiating position.It is proving quite difficult to replenish stocks so we would like to speak to landlords with any type or size of property in Hampstead or Highgate.

If you have a property to let in any of these areas, or would like a free no-obligation rental valuation of your property please contact us. For more London rental market news and updates, subscribe to our newsletter.

Share
avatar

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

by