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Home NewsThe London rental market – July 2016

The London rental market – July 2016

Despite the uncertainties caused by the recent EU referendum, we continue to see steady demand for rental properties across London, both from applicants from the UK and from overseas. Areas on the fringes of central London – Ealing, Kew and Brentford to the West, Colindale in North West London and Surrey Quays and Greenwich in South East London, continue to attract increasing levels of rental enquiries, particularly from young professionals. They are attracted to the value they offer and convenience of location, now transport connections across London have made the City so accessible. We have seen a noticeable increase in the past four weeks for 2-3 year leases suggesting that professional tenants are keen to put down roots in London despite the economic uncertainty that surrounds us at present.

North West London

Our Highgate office has had a good first half to 2016, with the last few weeks being particularly busy – properties are letting quickly and demand is strong. We ran low on stock for a while but have been taking on a lot of new instructions so now have plenty of properties, from smaller apartments to family homes.  During the summer months, the relocation market is at its busiest. Relocation agents are looking for properties for executives relocating to London from overseas and demand is good for one and two bedroom apartments as well as larger four bedroom properties in popular areas such as Dartmouth Park and Kentish Town. As ever, at this time of year most demand comes from families looking to relocate close to our good schools, particularly the Lycee Francais. Applicants have healthy budgets but they really do their homework and expect to negotiate with landlords to find a good deal.

51 Claremont House, Beaufort park, NW9-2
Beaufort Park in North West London

The last few weeks have seen a real upturn in demand for rental properties in Hampstead and quite a few tenants are choosing to upgrade to more spacious properties at the moment.  Summer is a busy time for us and there is plenty of interest from families looking to relocate to Hampstead ahead of the September school term. We have a good selection of properties available, from one bed apartments to three and four bedroom family homes. Applicants are demanding though and properties must be beautifully presented to attract a tenant quickly.

Beaufort Park in Hendon retains its huge appeal for professionals looking for affordable accommodation within an easy commute of central London. The rental market is strong and we have plenty of stock to meet demand.  One and two bedroom apartments are in highest demand.  With the Goldhawk apartments completing soon, we are starting to receive enquiries from landlords who have bought properties here and wish to place their properties up for rent.

City, Canary Wharf, Docklands and East London

Rental demand in the City is steady and enquiry levels are picking up.  We have been receiving a number of new instructions recently, particularly in high end developments such as Canaletto EC1, Goodman’s Fields E1, Aldgate Place E1 and One Tower Bridge SE1 so have good stocks to meet demand.  Across the City and East London generally, we are seeing the start of the busy student market, with strong demand from international students looking for properties across all price brackets.

30.1 Cashmere house, Leman St, E1 - ReceptionB - 16.09.2015
One bedroom apartment at Goodman’s Fields

Canary Wharf always attracts a lot of interest from renters, and we have had a positive response to the launch of new developments such as the luxurious Providence Tower. A developing trend we are seeing is the rising number of professional applicants moving to London from Europe, particularly Spain and Greece, but not from the professions we usually associate with the City. Enquiries are coming from doctors, nurses and other medical professionals as well as surveyors and property executives, usually looking for affordable one bedroom apartments at around £375-£380 per week in areas on the fringes of the City.  We have good stocks of these smaller properties which are letting in four or five days.

Despite good demand, the rental market remains price sensitive and as a result, we continue to see applicants wishing to move further out to areas where asking rentals are lower.  This explains the success of our Marine Wharf office at Surrey Quays which is going from strength to strength, with one and two bedroom apartments letting very quickly. We have seen rent increases since the beginning of the year and currently the asking rental for a one bedroom apartment is upwards of £350 per week and from £440 per week for a two bedroom apartment. Our Wapping office is also reporting strong growth with demand high for the area’s affordable new residential developments. We are looking forward to the launch of new apartments at London Docks later this year. Greenwich continues to perform consistently well and is always popular with applicants thanks to its high spec developments and easy commute into central London and Canary Wharf. One bedroom apartments are currently achieving upwards of £350 per week and two bedroom apartments over £440 per week. Properties let quickly with minimal void periods between tenancies. Currently there is particularly good demand for apartments at Hiltons Wharf and Kidbrooke Village.

Central London

Rental demand in Kensington is good but the market is polarising, with highest demand for studios and one bedroom apartments priced at £350 – £450 per week and luxury, high end properties priced between £1700 – £2500 per week. We have plenty of applicants for affordable studios, one and two bedroom apartments which are letting quickly and we do now have shortages of stock. At this end of the market we continue to see pressure on budgets with applicants looking to keep costs down. There is also good demand for luxury properties and applicants have healthy budgets. Senior executives, both from the UK and overseas, are looking for brand new apartments and period homes but whatever the style, the spec must be extremely high and the finish first rate. Landlords at this end of the market are quite choosy, preferring to let to applicants who will pay full asking rental, often with six or 12 months’ rent in advance.

At our Hyde Park office, rental demand for high end properties remains an important trend, and we are busy finding luxury homes for senior executives with good budgets. We are also receiving plenty of enquiries for smaller properties, one and two bedroom apartments, particularly at new developments such as Portobello Square in Notting Hill and Merchant Square in Paddington Basin.

In Knightsbridge we continue to see increasing numbers of enquiries from applicants. We have been receiving plenty of new instructions too, including several apartments at exciting new developments such as the prestigious Abell House in Westminster. Generally, with plenty of rental properties available in Knightsbridge, we are shifting towards a tenant’s market so we would urge landlords to ensure their rental properties are impeccably presented and that they agree to price them in line with current market conditions.

Two bedroom apartment at Fulham Reach
Two bedroom apartment at Fulham Reach

Our Ealing office has been receiving a lot of interest in Dashwood House, the latest phase of apartments at Dickens Yard, which is now completing. Our first tenants are now moving in and asking rentals range from upwards of £375 per week for a one bedroom apartment and from £530 per week for a two bed property. Interest also remains high in earlier phases such as Belgravia House and Fitzroy House. Rental apartments at St George’s new riverside development, Kew Bridge, is also attracting a lot of interest and our new on-site office there is receiving plenty of enquiries from applicants, particularly corporate tenants. One and two bedroom apartments are in highest demand. The high spec and easy commute into central London are bringing it to the attention of tenants looking to move away from the centre of the capital.

Demand has really picked up at Fulham Reach in Hammersmith and we have been extremely busy, with tenants due to move into new homes there in July and August. We are receiving quite a few new instructions, but with demand high and properties letting quickly, we are a little short of stock at the moment and are keen to speak to landlords who may wish to rent out their apartments there. Nearby at Imperial Wharf and Chelsea Creek, we continue to see strong corporate interest – the development’s excellent transport links (it has its own overground station and river bus pier) mean it is a popular choice with executives in the City and Canary Wharf. One and two bedroom apartments continue to attract the most interest from applicants.

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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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