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Home NewsThe London rental market – April 2017

The London rental market – April 2017

Spring is in the air and there is a real sense of confidence in the London lettings market. Many of our 16 London letting offices are seeing an increase in tenants choosing to move home at the end of their tenancy which is bringing more movement back to the market. This, coupled with the launch of a number of high profile new developments, is offering tenants plenty of choice.

Corporate services-Japan Desk

Battersea Power Station is enjoying incredible success and we have had dozens of apartments to let there. Properties are letting within 24 hours, such is the demand. In East London, developments such as Canary Gateway, London Dock and the last two phases of Surrey Quays – Mariner’s Place and Endeavour House – are being met with great enthusiasm too. While the proliferation of new apartments is transforming the landscape in many parts of London, this greater choice for tenants does make the rental market very competitive and landlords must not be complacent – it is essential for them to ensure their rental property is impeccably furnished so that it will stand out from the competition.

We are delighted to welcome Yoshi Tsuji to the company as the new head of our Japan Desk in our Corporate Services department. Yoshi brings a lot of experience to the role and is already incredibly in demand with our Japanese corporate clients relocating and bringing their families to London. He has over 13 years’ property experience and is a dedicated account manager for our Japanese clients so is a vital new addition to our Corporate Services team.

City, Docklands and East London (City, Canary Wharf and Wapping/London Docks)

Demand is good for competitively priced rental properties across the City and East London, with one bedroom apartments priced at £350-£450 per week attracting the greatest interest. We’re seeing a lot of enquiries from professionals working in investment banking, finance and technology sectors and there’s also a lot of interest from US professionals.

London Dock

In the City, ultra-luxury five star developments such as The Heron remain sought-after – with studios achieving £450-£525 per week and one beds £600 – £725 per week. East of Aldgate, Cityscape is also very popular and only a short walk from Liverpool Street. Two bedroom apartments here achieve upwards of £625 per week but with a gym, concierge and roof terrace they offer great value.

London Dock, close to St Katherine’s Dock and Wapping, has also been attracting a lot of interest from applicants since the first phase recently launched and we are starting to see the first tenants moving in to this high profile development. One bedroom apartments are letting for upwards of £550 per week and two beds upwards of £750 per week. In Canary Wharf, the Canary Gateway development is another huge success story. We have had a lot of instructions here and all have let quickly. Rents start at £270 – £285 per week for a studio and £310 – £330 per week for a one bedroom apartment and yet the development is only a 15 minute walk from Canary Wharf itself.

At Worcester Point in EC1 we had an apartment that was sticking as the landlord insisted we market the property at above market rental but after we corrected this we had 2 offers within 24 hours.

South East London (Surrey Quays and Greenwich)

Those with lower budgets continue to push East. With transport connections transformed across East London and Docklands in recent years, most applicants are happy to move further out where there are plenty of high quality developments at more affordable rents. The imminent launch of Crossrail is also now having an impact as new developments completing now that are close to Crossrail stations such as Royal Docks in Canning Town (close to Custom House station) look set to be in high demand and are starting to attract a lot of interest already.

Surrey Quays continues to be extremely popular and the last two phases, Mariner’s Place and Endeavour House, are due to complete in the next two or three weeks and we are already receiving enquiries for these. Our Greenwich office is busy with enquiries and again applicants continue to move to the area thanks to its good transport links and affordable rents – Kidbrooke Village offers excellent value (£300 per week for a one bedroom apartment) and yet is only a 20 minute commute away from Cannon Street station. A similar spec apartment in the Cannon Street area itself rents for upwards of £550 per week so the cost savings for tenants are considerable.

Central London (Kensington, Knightsbridge, Hyde Park/Paddington)

Merchant Square, Paddington

We are seeing a lot more movement in the lettings market in Kensington and enquiries are picking up. Greater numbers of tenants are vacating their current properties and looking for a change and we are also seeing quite a few applicants moving to Kensington from other parts of London. Generally budgets are good but value for money remains a priority – most tenants are looking for a one bedroom apartment and are prepared to pay around £600 per week as long as the property is well presented and close to good transport links. We are receiving quite a few new instructions so have a good choice of rental properties available. The market for family homes is also getting busier, again budgets are good and typically applicants are looking to pay £1000-1300 per week for a three bedroom property. Most rental properties are achieving close to asking rental as long as they are extremely well presented.

In Knightsbridge rental demand is steady but applicants have increasingly stringent requirements. With strong competition from new-build apartments, presentation and a high spec interior are more important than ever if a property is to let quickly, and experienced landlords are ensuring that their rental properties have that high gloss, showhome finish. In a price sensitive market, we are also seeing landlords more prepared to negotiate with existing tenants at renewal in order to keep a good tenant and so eliminate expensive voids. Rental demand is picking up at our Hyde Park office where new developments continue to be the most popular choices for tenants. Paddington Exchange, Pearson Square and Portobello Square all offer high spec accommodation and excellent facilities and tick all the boxes for young professional renters. At Paddington Exchange in particular, we’ve just secured five lets within a week, we achieved good market rents ranging from £500 – £785 per week.

Applicants have good budgets at the moment and are happy to pay close to asking rental for the right property. Many are choosing to upgrade to a larger or a smarter property and typically they already live fairly locally so have firm ideas where they would like to move to.

North/North West London (Highgate, Hampstead and Colindale/Beaufort Park)

4 bed house in Hampstead

The Highgate rental market is busy – demand for one and two-bedroom apartments is high as usual and we are also seeing a noticeable increase in enquiries for larger family homes, typically three or four bedroom houses priced between £500 and £800 per week. There is a lot more movement in the market generally, with applicants often looking to move because they wish to upgrade to a bigger property or choosing to rent as they have just sold their own home. Applicants continue to prioritise value for money and they usually wish to live close to a tube station – other than that are quite flexible, as long as the property is well presented. Apartments in new developments are always extremely popular but we do have some interesting older properties too (including an apartment in a converted Church) which also attract plenty of interest. Most rental properties are achieving within 5% to 10% of asking rental.

The rental market in Hampstead is picking up considerably, in particular we are finding homes for families relocating to London from the US, Singapore and China. They have good budgets and are typically looking for four and five bedroom houses with a garden in the £1,300 – £1,500 per week price bracket. Two bedroom properties are popular with professional sharers as well as young couples and we are also seeing an increase in demand for studios which are letting to tenants who live outside London but need to have a small base in the capital.

Over in Colindale, rental demand is continuing to pick up at the Beaufort Park development and the market is moving quickly now. One bedroom apartments (£300 – £340 per week) are in highest demand and we are now very short of stock. Three bedroom properties are also in short supply. The latest phase of apartments, Golding House, remains very popular and two bedroom properties (£400 – £450 per week) here are letting very quickly. As we move into Spring, demand looks set to increase further and we are therefore looking for new instructions in all areas of the development.

West London (Ealing, Kew/Brentford, Hammersmith)

West London continues to attract increasing numbers of renters – the rental market in Ealing is strong and the Dickens Yard development holds huge appeal, both for those moving out of central London and increasingly, for professionals moving to London from overseas. We are seeing high demand from corporate tenants generally, but particularly from Japanese professionals. We are also receiving a lot of new instructions, not just in the development, but also period conversions in central Ealing/Ealing Broadway. Studios in these period properties are renting from £225 per week and one bedroom apartments from £250 per week so they are popular with those on smaller budgets. Over at Kew Bridge, rental apartments are letting quickly and we have been receiving a lot of new instructions at the latest phase of Kew Bridge West, Heritage Walk. We’ve been furnishing the apartments as soon as they complete and they have been letting within a few days. It’s always the way, when a new building comes along, it creates a buzz and we always see good demand.

We have one bedroom apartments here at upwards of £370 per week and two bedroom apartments for £500+ per week. These are renting well but despite the high spec, it is important for landlords to recognise the importance of furnishing a property well to ensure it stands out from other apartments which are all coming onto the rental market at the same time. Professionally furnished properties always let more quickly than unfurnished ones.We have one bedroom apartments here at upwards of £370 per week and two bedroom apartments for £500+ per week. These are renting well but despite the high spec, it is important for landlords to recognise the importance of furnishing a property well to ensure it stands out from other apartments which are all coming onto the rental market at the same time. Professionally furnished properties always let more quickly than unfurnished ones.

Faulkner House, the latest phase of apartments at Fulham Reach, is also proving to be a real draw for tenants and our team here have been receiving a lot of enquiries. One bedroom apartments with the added bonus of car parking are letting for £580 – £600 per week. Families are also drawn to the development so three bedroom apartments are in exceptionally high demand at the moment.

South West central London (Nine Elms and Imperial Wharf)

1 bed apartment at Battersea Power Station

Apartments at Battersea Power Station are being handled by our Nine Elms Point office and demand is exceptionally high and we now have waiting lists of applicants waiting to move here. Properties are letting within 24 hours on average. We are taking on quite a few more instructions but would like to receive more to meet the high demand. One bedroom apartments and studios are most sought-after. The development is attracting interest in the area generally, bringing in professionals who might not have previously considered living south of the river. As a result, other local developments such as Battersea Exchange are also becoming extremely popular.

The rental market is also looking good at Imperial Wharf and Chelsea Creek, with apartments letting quickly and again, shortages of stock, particularly studios and one bedroom apartments. Two bedroom apartments priced from £550 – £875 per week are also renting particularly well. It is a similar story at adjacent Chelsea Creek where demand is high and we are low on stocks. Tenants at both developments tend to renew their tenancies year after year as they love living there and there is no reason to move. We are looking forward to the launch of Lockside House in May/June and expect to receive plenty of new instructions then.

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 do get in touch with 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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