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Home News Property market updates, Rental market update The London Rental Market – March 2016

The London Rental Market – March 2016

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Spring is in the air and there is a positive feel to the London rental market with applicants starting to look for new rental accommodation in London as the weather starts to improve. Not only that, but with house prices on the rise and deposits for homes further out of reach for most Londoners, there has been a growing trend for existing tenants to renew their tenancy agreements as they opt to avoid the expense of moving.

In many London areas we are seeing an increasing demand from overseas tenants relocating to London for work.  Many of these tenants are looking for a home in new-build developments where facilities and apartments are high specification and offer a convenient location with a commute time of less than 30 minutes. Our branches that are located in new developments such as Dickens Yard Ealing Marine Wharf Surrey Quays, Fulham Reach Hammersmith and Beaufort Park Colindale are reporting particularly high demand.

In traditional areas such as Hampstead, Highgate and Knightsbridge, an acute shortage of good quality housing stock remains and we would urge landlords to look at their properties to consider a refurbishment pre-Spring  so their property remains competitive in the local market. These areas carry a certain caché and still remain popular but rents can be affected if properties are not offered in pristine condition.

Central London

3 bed flat at Imperial Wharf, SW6 £1,380 per week

Our Knightsbridge office is extremely busy, handling enquiries mainly for one and two bedroom properties, and taking  taking on a number of new instructions. Equally good news is the number of people renewing tenancies which remains high at 80%. Tenants are prioritising stability, choosing to remain in their current property to save the expense and inconvenience of moving – good news for landlords as it eliminates expensive voids. Smaller properties below £675 per week are in highest demand as applicants usually have firm budgets.  As well as younger professionals looking for one bedroom properties, we are seeing growing demand from senior executives looking for a reasonably priced pied-a-terre. Experienced landlords recognise the need for flexibility on rents in this competitive market.  They understand that the reliability of a tenant and the length of a tenancy are as, if not more important, than holding out for a higher rent, ensuring a faster let and continuity of income.

We continue to see steady rental demand in and around Hyde Park and the W2 postcode, with enquiries for well-priced and well-presented rental accommodation. Properties are renting quickly with many applicants planning for a move by the end of March. We are also seeing a lot of young professionals and couples upgrading, giving notice on their current property to rent something larger.

The rental market is steady in Kensington but we are seeing a trend where quite a few tenants delay their decision to move home until after the EU Referendum in June. As a result, the number of tenancy renewals taking place is up, at around 80%, as tenants opt for security and stability. This is good news for landlords as retaining their current tenant means voids can be eliminated ensuring continuity of rental income, while usually a modest increase in rent can be achieved, in line with RPI.

Business is brisk at our Ealing office, with apartments at Dickens Yard and Arc Tower in particularly high demand. Young professionals are searching for one bedroom properties and we do have shortages of smaller properties in some developments. Applicants have good budgets so most properties are achieving close to asking rental. We are also busy with enquiries from corporate tenants and are continuing to see a rise in the number of Japanese executives relocating to London.

The last few weeks have been very busy at our Hammersmith office and enquiry levels are strong.  Apartments at Distillery Wharf in particular are in high demand and applicants often see the facilities, the riverside location and simply fall in love with the development. To cope with demand, we have new instructions coming in regularly. The apartments are especially popular with young professionals and we are seeing a high number of corporate tenants relocating here from overseas.

Demand at Imperial Wharf is as high as ever with one, two and three bedroom properties all letting quickly. We find that many professionals relocating to London actually request specifically that they would like to live in this development. Interest in neighbouring Chelsea Creek is also high and properties here usually let almost as soon as we receive an instruction.

City, Canary Wharf, Docklands and East London

2 bed flat in Goodman’s Fields, E1 £750 per week

The City rental market is buoyant, with business up compared to the same period last year. Rental demand is particularly high for one bedroom apartments which offer good value for young professionals. New developments such as Goodman Fields are popular and we continue to receive plenty of enquiries for older developments such as Avant Garde, Cityscape, Pegaso and City Quarter. Generally, applicants are looking for good amenities (a gym, spa and pool), a concierge and a location close to a tube or DLR station or within walking distance of their office.

With many applicants prioritising value for money, there is also a continuing push eastwasrds to find high-spec accommodation for a lower rent than in the City. Our Canary Wharf office has received a number of instructions in new developments in and around E14 recently so we have good availability of stock to meet this demand, many at asking rentals of £325-£425 per week for a one bedroom apartment, which is a good price point for young professionals.

Our Surrey Quays office at Marine Wharf remains very busy and the launch of Royal Victoria Gardens phase has attracted a lot of enquiries. One bedroom apartments are achieving £350 – £360 per week and two bedroom properties at £420 – £440 per week.  In Wapping, the development currently generating a lot of interest is Wapping Riverside which is about to launch – a stunning building with apartments featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, many overlooking the River Thames. Among the properties we have let here recently is a two bed apartment for £795 per week.

Last but not least, rental demand in the historic Royal Borough of Greenwich remains as high as ever and as soon as a new development or phase of apartments launches we receive a very positive response from applicants. New Capital Quay is still one of our most popular developments while the new Granite Apartments are also generating plenty of interest.

North West London

1 bed flat on Flask Walk, Hampstead £530 per week

As usual, rental demand is high at Beaufort Park in Colindale, with translations up 70% on the same period last year.  This is due in part to the January launch January of the Constantine apartments which are attracting a great deal of interest from applicants. One bedroom apartments remain the most popular but enquiries are also picking up for two bedroom apartments. A one bedroom apartment is currently achieving £320 – £330 per week and a two bed £410 – £420 per week. The development’s reputation is no longer limited to London professionals and we are seeing increasing numbers of enquiries from applicants relocating to London from Europe. Budgets are good and most apartments are achieving close to asking rental. Tenancy renewals are also high as many tenants are remaining in their current property rather than incur the expense and inconvenience of moving unless it is absolutely necessary.

Properties are letting quickly in Highgate and levels are up around 30% year on year.  There is good demand for all types of property, as long as it is reasonably priced, from one and two bedroom apartments to larger family homes. With properties letting quickly we are actively seeking new instructions from landlords.

Rental demand is really picking up in Hampstead and the last few weeks has seen a high number of enquiries.  One bedroom apartments have been flying off the shelf while there is very good demand for two bedroom properties too.  We are also receiving quite a few enquiries for luxury, high end homes but have a shortage of this type of property at the moment.

If you are looking to rent a property click here for listings, if you are a landlord with a property to let, contact your nearest branch here.


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