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Rental Market Update – November 2013

Central London

Our Kensington office has had an extremely busy few weeks, with the upper end of the market performing particularly well. Applicants are looking for high quality homes to rent in Kensington and neighbouring areas such as Knightsbridge, Notting Hill and Hyde Park. Properties have been letting very quickly, especially homes over £2,000 per week (usually four beds).

kensington-court-mansions
4 bed flat in Kensington Court Mansions, £2,200 per week

Demand for one, two and three bed homes is also high – in fact, all well presented properties in good locations in central London are moving quickly. There’s a shortage of good housing stock and we’re actively looking for new instructions – for example, we’ve run out of stock of two bedroom apartments in Kensington in the £750-£800 per week price bracket. Across central London, we’re seeing a high percentage of existing tenants renewing their leases which is adding to the shortage of good properties.

The corporate lets market in Kensington is very active and we’re seeing an influx of professionals moving to London from Europe, the Far East and the USA, mostly from the finance sector. Our offices in Hyde Park and Knightsbridge are reporting similarly brisk business, with a high number of applicants. Tenants tend to be executives with families but we’re also seeing more professional sharers than usual. Applicants are demanding and expect central London rental properties to be well presented. For landlords, the good news is that good quality properties that are reasonably priced have been flying out.

City, Canary Wharf, Docklands and Greenwich

The last few weeks have been very busy and demand for rental apartments in the City, Canary Wharf and East London generally remains very high. With the Festive Season not that far off now, tenants are keen to find a new rental property in Docklands and move in before Christmas. There is always a rush of applicants who leave their property search until the last moment and we have been busy finding homes for these tenants.

new-capital-quay
New Capital Quay development, Greenwich

Our new Greenwich office opened in October and we’re seeing a high number of applicants, with rental demand continuing to increase. Rents in Greenwich are cheaper than in the City or Canary Wharf but are catching up fast due to rising demand. But for many tenants, it’s not just lower rents that attract them, it’s the lifestyle and the character of the area, together with the great transport links. It’s therefore popular with families as well as young professionals, so has broad appeal for London’s renters.

New residential developments are springing up in Greenwich and demand for these high spec apartments is strong. New Capital Quay is one of the most popular with apartments here letting immediately they become available. Demand is also very good for East London residential developments such as Marine Wharf, Royal Arsenal Riverside and Paynes & Borthwick.

North/North West London

Demand remains good in Hampstead and we’ve recently had an influx of applicants being relocated to London by their companies. No single nationality stands out amongst these although there has been a high number of Europeans and Americans. A trend we’re continuing to see in Hampstead and Highgate is tenants requesting a pet to stay in the property. Two thirds of tenants (both families and individiduals) now request this and most landlords seem happy to oblige. Landlords who don’t agree to a pet are finding they have longer void periods. The area’s popularity with pets, particularly dog owners, is probably because it’s so close to beautiful open spaces such as Hampstead Heath, Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park.

highbury-square
1 bed flat in Highbury Square, £355 per week

New residential developments in North London remain extremely popular. Our Highgate office is busy with enquiries for accommodation to rent in developments such as Woodberry Park and Highbury Square and renters are also pushing out to areas like Hendon where rental apartments offer excellent value for money. Business is brisk at our Beaufort Park office with young professionals and City workers accounting for much of the demand at the moment. We’re finding many are moving to the area for the first time on the recommendation of friends or family. The Claremont Apartments are the latest to launch at Beaufort Park and apartments here are in highest demand – we often have a waiting list.

There’s a trend towards professional sharers at Beaufort Park too – young professionals getting together to share an apartment to get more space and better value for money, typically a two bed apartment at around £370 per week. Rents are rising due to increasing demand so landlords are enjoying increased rental yields. Properties are letting quickly and we sometimes have shortages – we’re currently short of one bed apartments. Many tenants are choosing to renew their leases and this is adding to the shortage of properties.

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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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