Rental demand is booming around Hyde Park, with properties letting quickly on the whole. Young professionals and couples are busy looking for rental homes in Paddington Basin where apartments in new developments such as Sheldon Square, West End Quay and Westcliffe Apartments are letting within a few days. A new block always attracts a lot of interest – the next to launch is 3 Merchant Square and again we are receiving a lot of enquiries for rental apartments here.
On the odd occasion, a rental property will stick, despite being in a good development and priced correctly. If this happens, we suggest dressing the property, redecorating if necessary and adding some new furnishings, accessories and maybe some artwork to revamp the interior. We arranged this recently for one of our landlords for his two bed apartment in Sheldon Square which was struggling to attract a tenant. Within days we received three offers for the full asking rental of £595pw which shows how effective this strategy can be.
Throughout the areas bordering Hyde Park, the relocation market is strong – in particular, we’re seeing a lot of execs from Japan and the Far East relocating at the moment. Applicants have decent budgets (£400-£450pw for a one bed, £550-£650pw for a two bed), but they research the market, compare asking rentals and negotiate hard to get a good deal. The recession has made tenants more savvy about the rental market than they were even a few years ago.
Notting Hill stands out for its buoyant rental market too, with applicants looking for one and two bed period conversions as well, of course, as the new build apartments at prestigious Portobello Square which continue to attract plenty of interest. We remain very low on stock in rental homes at Portobello Square and are continuing to look for new instructions here.
The rental market in the City and Canary Wharf remains buoyant. Rental apartments in Docklands are letting quickly and we have good stock levels to meet tenants’ requirements although we are always looking for new instructions. The majority of applicants are already London or UK based although the relocation market is picking up and the second quarter of 2014 has seen the number of overseas applicants rise significantly compared to the first quarter of the year.
Budget is uppermost in most applicants’ minds and value for money is a priority. When searching for a rental property, applicants rate good transport links highest, followed by a safe area and a concierge service is a real bonus. Good presentation and a modern kitchen and bathroom are essential while outside space is a bonus too.
Our Greenwich office is also continuing to see high demand, with increasing numbers of tenants moving to apartments in Greenwich, Blackheath and the surrounding areas where they can find a good choice of high spec homes at more affordable prices than in Canary Wharf. We’re also seeing a lot of international students looking for a home before the start of the September term at the University of Greenwich.
Value for money is a priority amongst applicants and with London Bridge station only 20 minutes away, the easy commute is also part of the appeal.
Rental demand is very good around Highgate, in fact we’ve had a record breaking second quarter of 2014, with business up 7% on the same period in 2013. We’re busy with applicants looking for one and two bed apartments in Highgate and the corporate lets and relocation market is very active too as we move into our busiest time of year for relocation agents looking for large family homes for expat executives moving to the area ready for the September school term.
Three, four, five and six bed houses (£700-£2000pw) are in high demand throughout Highgate, Muswell Hill, Tufnell Park and Kentish Town and we’re receiving strong enquiries from families relocating from France, Spain and the US in particular. There is exceptionally high demand for family homes close to the French school, la Petite Ecole Bilingue, in Kentish Town.
Budgets remain a key issue and tenants demand real value for money. Applicants may view up to 10 properties and take their time to decide which is the right one. Generally, good transport links to central London, a good neighbourhood, good schools and particularly at this time of year, some outside space, rate highly on tenants’ wish lists. Applicants are very knowledgeable about the rental market, they research the market and know what asking rentals should be, negotiating hard. Getting a good deal is important for tenants, whatever type of property they are searching for.
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