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Home News Property market updates, Rental market update The London rental market – August 2017

The London rental market – August 2017

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In many areas of London we continue to see a tenant’s market. There is a wide choice of properties available and applicants are negotiating when rents appear to be higher than average. And there are still plenty of good applicants searching for a rental home in London, and not just from notable international companies but also a strong UK talent base relocating to London for career progression.

In this competitive market landlords should try to keep their existing tenant – this is particularly important advice for buy-to-let landlords who rely on income to pay the loan on a property. At times like these, it is often better to retain an existing tenant rather than have to put your property back on the market and start the process again. If you have bought a more recently completed property where lots of new apartments are being offered at the same time, it might mean negotiating a modest increase with the current tenant or even agreeing the same rental for another year than risk a void period. A one month void could swallow up any gain you might make by increasing the rental and re-marketing the property.

Listen to your letting agent – if the current tenant does decide to leave, a good agent should be able to advise on current market conditions and what the current demand is from applicants. We’ve seen more young professionals and international students join the rental market this Summer. Some of our branches in village locations such as Hampstead and Highgate are also seeing good demand for family accommodation but the property condition must be excellent and fully modernised. Professional property management is also a must for corporates who will not take a home without it in place.

Above all, most tenants now prioritise ‘value for money’ whatever their budget, so flexibility is the byword if a property is to let quickly. For advice on presenting or furnishing a property for rental, call one of our local branches who will be happy to advise here.

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

1 bedroom apartment in Canary Wharf

The rental market is strong in the City, Canary Wharf and East London generally. There is good demand in the City and we are busy handling enquiries from young professionals and corporate tenants looking for one bed apartments as well as professional sharers looking for two and three bed properties. Canary Wharf has also been experiencing strong rental demand, particularly for one bed apartments and three bed apartments which again are popular with sharers. There seems to be an increase in the level of recruitment by City firms recently and we are seeing some good enquiries from the accountancy and banking sectors, many of whom are relocating to London from other parts of the UK. There has also been very good demand from international students looking to stay for up to three years. After a year in temporary premises, our new London Dock Wapping branch opens later this month and the first apartments at the development have been completing for several weeks now. Demand is currently outstripping supply and we have waiting lists of applicants. Manhattan-one bedroom apartments are bigger than your average studio so are bound to be popular here, these are letting for £475 – £495 per week while large one bed apartments are achieving £550 – £595 per week. Rents may seem on the higher side here but the locality provides a short commute into the City and wider Docklands area. There are varied good amenities and of course, the River Thames is nearby which is a real draw.
Throughout East London, applicants have good budgets but as ever, the market remains price sensitive and tenants expect to negotiate on rent. Value remains a priority and applicants are knowledgeable about market conditions – they therefore expect a property to be keenly priced and landlords who are prepared to be flexible about rent are finding their property lets more quickly.

South East London (Surrey Quays and Greenwich)

1 bed apartment at Endeavour House

Apartments at Endeavour House and Quinton Court, the last phases of Marine Wharf Surrey Quays, have been very popular. Our branch on-site here reports that we have let all our one bed apartments here although we still have a good selection of two bed properties which are letting for £400-£500 per week. The high specification interiors and excellent amenities provide the value tenants are looking for here. Nearby, apartments at Greenland Place are completing and these are also proving popular. At £415 – £460 per week for a two bed/two bathroom apartment these too offer excellent value and have good amenities including a gym and concierge. In Greenwich, demand is good, with apartments letting quickly and we are short of stock of one and two bed properties so are looking for new instructions here. Typically one bed apartments are achieving upwards of £340 per week and two beds are achieving upwards of £400 per week.

West London (Ealing, Kew/Brentford and Hammersmith)

3 bed apartment at Fulham Reach

Our Fulham Reach Hammersmith office is still receiving good enquiries for three bedroom apartments and we are seeing increasing numbers of families looking to move to the development ahead of the September school term. The beautiful riverside setting and access to bustling Hammersmith are making this enclave very popular with applicants. Apartments at nearby Queen’s Wharf are also letting well to young professionals and couples. We continue to see quite a few Europeans looking to move here, so despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit the relocation market here remains stable. Our branch at Dickens Yard in Ealing reports strong demand particularly from corporate tenants who are commuting into the City each day. Enquiries for the new Vista Apartments which are now completing are attracting a lot of interest and we expect to conclude quite a few tenancies here over the next couple of months. Demand is similarly strong at nearby Kew Bridge but this scheme being a little older, we are now quite short on stock so are looking for new instructions here.

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

2 bed apartment in Kensington

The rental market in Kensington remains buoyant and our Brompton Road branch has been seeing a noticeable increase in applicant numbers over the last few weeks. Most of these are young professionals or couples looking for one or two bed properties, preferably in a new development rather than a traditional conversion. Expectations are high and a beautifully presented interior is a must along with a concierge service. This popular buy-to-let location has a lot of charming period properties and landlords hoping to keep these rented out must ensure that they are refurbished to an extremely high standard to compete with these brand new apartments. We have good availability of rental apartments at the moment and the number of applicants is fairly evenly balanced with the number of properties available, leading to a steady market. Most applicants are willing to pay close to asking rental, typically £500-£600 a week for a one bed apartment and £600-£700 a week for a two bed property. Our Knightsbridge branch has a good selection of properties available although, as you would expect, we see a slight slowdown at this time of year as many prospective tenants are away on holiday. The market tends to pick up again in early September and, in the meantime, some landlords are offering their property on a short let to fill the gap – although they must check with their local authority and with the managing agent of their building to confirm that this is permitted.

Rental demand in the Hyde Park and Paddington areas remains steady with enquiries continuing to pick up now that we are in the middle of the busy student season. Young professionals are also actively looking for smaller properties – studios and one bed apartments – which offer affordability and an easy walk to work as the West End is close by. In nearby Camden Courtyards, a new Barratt scheme in NW1 on the fringe of the West End, we have been doing brisk business and there is good demand for this type of new build.

South West central London (Nine Elms and Imperial Wharf)

Investing in Nine Elms Point

Apartments are letting well in the developments in the Nine Elms area and we are seeing a new wave of applicants who are discovering the area for the first time. Many are enquiring about Nine Elms Point, a new Barratt scheme near Vauxhall station which has a gym, parking and a huge Sainsbury’s on-site. We are in need of more one bed apartments to let at Battersea Power Station, such is the high demand. Demand for two bed apartments here has been increasing in the last few weeks as more apartments start to complete and can be marketed. New shops and restaurants are opening now and attracting more people to the area. There are also a lot of local events being hosted which are all helping to create a real community feel, again adding to the area’s appeal. Rental demand is also good further down the river at Imperial Wharf Fulham and Chelsea Creek. Manhattan-one bed apartments, one bed and two bed apartments are letting well and the market is strong. We are also receiving plenty of enquiries for three bed apartments but would like to receive more instructions for these larger properties as these are popular with small families.

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

5 bedroom house in Highgate

At Beaufort Park in Colindale, rental demand continues to increase, business is brisk with enquiries from students looking for one bed apartments and from sharers looking for two or three bed apartments with two bathrooms. Most students offer full asking price here. Demand is also high from local professionals and executives who commute to the City and Canary Wharf. Demand has been so strong that we are now almost out of stock of properties at the recent Golding and Goldhawk buildings. Are Our Highgate office continues to see good demand for one bed properties which are letting quickly. We have had good stock of these smaller properties which are popular with young, single professionals and couples. Rental demand has also been picking up recently for larger homes – four and five bedroom properties – as families move to the area in time for the start of the September school term. Many of these families have been asking for longer tenancies – often two or three years – as they want the stability of living near their children’s school throughout their time in London. In Hampstead we also have a good choice of properties but, being a tenant’s market at the moment it is essential that landlords recognise the importance of excellent presentation to ensure that properties really do stand out. The market for larger family homes has been a little slower than usual but smaller properties are as ever, very popular with young corporates coming here on secondment from overseas.

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.


About the Author

For 40 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