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Home NewsRental market updateThe London rental market – September 2018

The London rental market – September 2018

The UK’s education system is one of the best in the world and students make up a major element of demand for London rental properties, flocking to the UK capital to take advantage of this exceptional standard of education. Last year over 442,000 international students were studying in the UK, adding £20bn to the UK economy (according to a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute.

Unsurprisingly, the summer months are the busiest in terms of student demand and most of our branches have been handling high numbers of enquiries for rental properties from those starting their university courses in September and October.

The student market tends not to go through the same ups and downs as other types of tenant. Education is a priority whatever is happening in the wider economy. And students make excellent tenants – they tend to pay full or close to asking rental and they (or their parents) usually pay rent on time, or even up front.

We have good stocks of suitable rental properties for students at the moment – mostly in new developments which have been launching over the last few months.

And their priorities are simple – they wish to be around a 10 minute walk away from their university (or a 10 minute Tube or DLR commute), they want to be in a safe location, with a concierge to provide an additional layer of security for the property, they want a high spec and excellent facilities such as a swimming pool and gym. And fast internet is a ‘must’.

If your property ticks these boxes and you would like to find out more about renting to students, call one of our team at your local lettings branch – we have 16 offices across London and our staff will be pleased to discuss the local rental market with you.

The City and East London

Our City and East London branches are busy finding rental properties for international students with good budgets, snapping up luxury apartments priced at £700-£1200 per week (£400-£600 per week for a one bed and £700-£1200 per week for a two or three bed if sharing). With the launch of several key developments, particularly London Dock, we have good stocks and apartments are letting quickly. Around 50% of international students are from China, 20% are Russian and 30% from Europe. We are seeing increasing numbers of Turkish students too. We receive enquiries well into October. Many view properties online or via a Skype, Facetime or Whatsapp ‘walkaround’ with one of our team so excellent presentation is essential to ensure a property stands out.

2 bed apartment to rent at Blackfriars Circus

In the City, 6* luxury is the name of the game at One Blackfriars, the uber luxurious development which is completing now. We already have applicants fully referenced and waiting to move into this high end building where no expense has been spared. Demand is also high for apartments in the final phase of Blackfriars Circus, also launching now. In a prime Zone 1 location and built around two public squares which will offer shops and cafes, it also has a bookable event space on the 27th floor, with panoramic views from the rooftop terrace. Our London Dock branch in Wapping has had an excellent year so far, with high levels of enquiries, many of whom are students. With consistently high demand, properties here always let quickly. The latest phase of Goodman Fields, a perennial favourite with renters, is also attracting a lot of interest. All our apartments in Canary Wharf are letting quickly and with little new stock becoming available at the moment, stocks are running low. Not far away is Royal Dock in Silvertown E16 – close to Pontoon Dock DLR station. Interest is really building in this development thanks to the excellent value it offers, combined with good transport links. At Surrey Quays, we are looking forward to the launch of Marine Wharf East where we already have applicants lined up and we have pre-let five units already. Nearby, London Square Canada Water is also extremely popular and some of our units here have let within 24 hours of being furnished. Over in Woolwich, which is handled by our Greenwich branch, Royal Arsenal Riverside continues to grow in popularity and the latest phase, Waterfront 3, is seeing good demand. Tenants will find excellent value here, with one beds renting for upwards of £340 per week and two beds upwards of £400 per week. Tenants are beginning to realise how much the imminent launch of the on-site Crossrail station will transform and cut their commutes to the City and central London.

West London

Rental demand at residential developments in West London is extremely high – properties generally are letting quickly and in some areas we have shortages of stock. At Fulham Reach in Hammersmith, our on-site branch is very busy and at one point recently had only two properties left. There are two new phases completing now at Sovereign Court – Beaulieu House and Montpellier House and we have received a lot of new instructions here which will go some way to meeting current demand – properties will be furnished and available to rent by mid September. In particular, we have had a lot of enquiries for one and two bed apartments and we have tenants already referenced and ready to move in. Imperial Wharf (and Chelsea Creek) remains as popular as ever with professionals working in central London and the City and here too apartments are letting quickly.

2 bed apartment to rent at Dolphin House

Our branch at Dickens Yard in Ealing is dealing with enquiries from a lot of applicants at the moment and is now running low on stock. One bed apartments are letting very quickly and there is also strong demand from families for two bed properties. The next phase, Elizabeth House, launches in October so we are looking forward to another wave of instructions then. At Kew Bridge, our team is handling a lot of corporate lets, many from professionals working for large corporations relocating staff to London. Stocks are low though and we would be very interested to talk to landlords who own apartments there as we have corporate tenants wishing to move there as soon as possible. We recently took on a block of new instructions at a new development, Dolphin House, in Sunbury on Thames. Properties are starting to attract interest from applicants, including professionals relocating to London, and are letting well, all for the asking rental. The apartments are well finished, with allocated parking, and with one beds renting for £220+ per week they offer excellent value for money.

Central London

Rental demand in central London, an area which is covered by our Hyde Park, Kensington and Knightsbridge branches, is good with smaller properties (studios and one beds), letting well. Apartments in the £350-£600 per week price bracket are letting well and being snapped up by overseas students in particular, from China and Hong Kong as usual but also from Egypt, South Korea and Turkey. Many overseas students view properties by Skype, Facetime or Whatsapp so immaculate presentation is a must to make a property stand out from the competition on this format. We’re also busy finding homes for young professionals, many of whom are recent graduates and moving to London for the first time from other parts of the UK.

Generally properties are letting well but there is plenty of choice for tenants who understand the market more now and recognise they are in a good position to negotiate a better deal. Landlords should therefore be aware that the market is challenging and some flexibility is needed to ensure a property lets quickly and so minimise costly void periods.

Apartment to rent at Nine Elms Point

Further south, at Nine Elms, rental demand is exceptionally strong, with applicants outbidding each other and one property recently renting in under three hours. We’ve just let four apartments at Vista at Chelsea Bridge and these were all snapped up in less than 24 hours, after just one viewing. One bed apartments in the area are letting for £500-£525 per week, two beds for £650-£750 per week and three beds for £1000+ per week. Unusually, there is very strong demand for three bed apartments, popular with families, professional sharers and students. Many professionals are now beginning to realise the appeal of the area, with its brand new homes offering excellent value for money yet just a very short commute away from central London – we are now finding that residents are recommending the area to their friends and colleagues.

North London

Rental homes are letting very quickly at Beaufort Park in Colindale and the market is buoyant. Students and young professionals are looking for new homes, either taking a studio or one bed as an individual or choosing to share a two or three bed property with friends. The latest phase, Capri House, is launching now and we are receiving a lot of new instructions here – we are already receiving enquiries for these and applicants are happy to pay a premium of an additional £10 – £15 per week to live in a brand new home.

Apartment to rent at Hampstead Reach

Demand for one and two bed rental apartments is strong in Hampstead and Highgate, with one bed properties letting for £300-£400 per week and two beds £400-£500 per week. Stock levels are now quite low, particularly one bed properties, after this busy period. We are seeing increasing numbers of professional sharers looking for two (or three) bed, two bathroom properties while families have also been busy looking for homes ahead of the new school term. New developments on the fringes of Hampstead such as Hampstead Reach in NW11 continue to grow in popularity and tenants love the high spec so this is the finish that landlords should aim for when refurbishing their property.

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.

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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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