After the initial shock of the outcome of the European Referendum vote, most of our London lettings offices are reporting not just that the rental market has returned to normal, but that they are seeing a dramatic upturn in enquiries from tenants. Many applicants are keen to move to the UK before secession is complete and nearly half of new enquiries at the moment are from applicants from Europe, an overall increase of 20%.
Rental demand in the City and East London has bounced back since the Referendum and we are seeing strong demand, on a similar level to this time last year. Enquiry levels are good across East London generally, particularly from young professionals looking for one and two bedroom apartments.
Our City branch has been particularly busy finding homes for British and overseas students. Developments such as Cityscape, The Heron and Aldgate Place are in high demand. Typically students have good budgets, and are looking for either one bedroom flats for £330 – £575 per week or two bedroom properties to share for £800 per week. They make good tenants, paying 10 to 12 weeks’ deposit and rent in advance for 6 – 12 months. They will often stay for the entire three or four years of their course, giving landlords a steady income, with no voids during that period. In Canary Wharf, we are continuing to see high numbers of professionals and new graduates looking for well priced rental homes and demand is good. We have good stocks of properties, with apartments in Pan Peninsula, Providence Tower and Horizons among the most popular.
Our Marine Wharf office at Surrey Quays is busy and properties are letting quickly, usually in 7 – 10 days. One bedroom apartments at Surrey Quays are achieving £350 – £375 per week and two bedroom properties £420 – £450 per week. The latest phase of apartments to launch at Surrey Quays is Cleverly Court and demand for properties here is very strong. Demand is also good in Wapping and work at the new London Dock development is coming on well. We are expecting to have properties to rent at the first phase of apartments here during the last quarter of the year. Over in Greenwich rental demand remains consistently good with properties letting quickly, again usually within 7 – 10 days. The combination of high spec apartments, an easy commute to Canary Wharf and central London and good value for money means Greenwich is a perennially popular place to live.
The corporate market is particularly strong in the Hyde Park area and we have been seeing very high demand from relocation agents acting on behalf of senior executives from the USA, South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Properties in the £1,200-£1,800 per week price bracket are letting quickly but applicants are more demanding, comparing properties down to every last detail, from the facilities to the quality of finish. We have also been busy finding homes for wealthier students, particularly those from overseas, who’s rents are guaranteed by parents and have generous budgets for one bedroom apartments at £400 – £450 per week and two bedroom apartments at £600 – £900 per week. Demand from young professionals has slowed a little but this is mainly because many are opting for the stability of renewing their current tenancy and remaining in their current home so they can avoid the cost and inconvenience of moving. Tenancy renewals are at a record high of 95%.
Our Knightsbridge branch is extremely busy, with enquiry levels picking up significantly post-Brexit as applicants began to realise that the economy hadn’t collapsed so they decided to refocus and get on with their lives. Our lettings team is carrying out increasing numbers of viewings and taking on quite a few new instructions too. We are even receiving multiple offers on some rental properties.
Enquiries are picking up at our Kensington branch, particularly for smaller apartments priced at up to £600 per week which are letting to professionals and new graduates moving to London for the first time from other parts of the UK. We are also starting to see enquiries pick up amongst students and this demand is likely to gain momentum over the next few weeks as we approach the start of the September term.
Rental demand in Ealing is extremely strong and the team at Ealing branch situated at the Dickens Yard property development have been working flat out to handle enquiries from applicants. Properties are letting extremely quickly in Dickens Yard, usually for the full asking rental. Demand for rental apartments at Dashwood House, the latest building to launch, is exceptional and we are out of stock of one bedroom apartments, with only a couple of two bedroom apartments available for rent right now. Similarly, our Kew branch which also covers upcoming Brentford, is also extremely busy, with apartments letting very quickly. We are looking for new instructions in Ealing and Kew environs to meet demand as currently we have several applicants per property.
Our Hammersmith branch at Fulham Reach is also doing brisk business and demand is high for all sizes of property. One, two and three bedroom properties are letting quickly, usually for close to asking rental. With the rental market so busy, we are short of stock of some types of property and looking for new instructions from landlords. Smaller units should be furnished well to secure a quicker let.
The corporate market is also strong further up the River at Imperial Wharf and Chelsea Creek in Fulham, with good demand across the board, all of which are letting quickly. Although one and two bedroom apartments are always in demand, it has been good to see demand increasing for larger apartments for senior City executives looking for more space and a river vista.
Rental properties in Hampstead are letting well and the rental market has bounced back after a slight lull in the run-up to the Referendum vote and is now noticeably busier as people get on with their lives, moving to take up a new job or settling their children into a new home before the September school term. We are seeing good demand both from young professionals looking for small, well-priced properties and from relocation agents looking for larger family homes for executives from countries worldwide – mostly outside the EU which is normal for Hampstead. Most are looking for three and four bedroom family homes and we have good stocks to meet this demand. The rental market remains price sensitive though and tenants do expect to find good value so properties should be priced accurately in line with the market and of course, must be extremely well presented and up-to-date.
At Beaufort Park in Colindale demand is, dare I say ‘phenomenal’ and we have had an unbelievable few weeks, with June being one of our busiest ever since we opened on-site here at the development. The amount of tenancies we have concluded is up 100% on the same period last year. Studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments are all letting quickly and, with the recent launch of the Goldhawk Apartments, we have plenty of stock to meet demand. Now that the Brexit vote is over, applicants seem more focused on finding a home and many tenants are choosing two or three year tenancy agreements, another sign of their confidence in the wider economy.
In Highgate, demand is steady and we would like to have more apartments on our books as demand is there. One and two bedroom apartments are letting quite quickly as long as they are accurately priced and well presented. Enquiries for family homes in the £1000 – £2000 per week price bracket have not been at our usual levels but we have since an increase in the last few weeks as the market corrects itself.
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