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Home NewsThe London Rental Market – October 2016

The London Rental Market – October 2016

The last few weeks of September saw our 16 London lettings branches do brisk business and we are still flat out finding homes for many different types of applicants – from young professionals, new graduates and students to families relocating to London. Demand for rental accommodation across London remains buoyant and we continue to see professionals moving to the capital from Europe, the USA and South East Asia. Last month also saw the launch of our sixteenth London lettings branch, in Nine Elms Point on the South Bank, very close to Battersea Power Station.  For now, we are operating from a suite at the development until the office is ready but it’s all systems go and exciting time to be located in central London’s largest regeneration zone.

Central London

Our Kensington branch is very busy, with demand for one bedroom properties (£325 – £400 per week) consistently high and enquiries for two bedroom apartments (£550 – £700 per week) also picking up noticeably. Relocation agents have been active looking for rental homes for their clients, particularly two and three bedroom properties. The rental market continues to be price sensitive and applicants looking for properties at the lower end of the market in particular are keen to negotiate in order to secure the best possible home for their budget.

Presentation remains key to ensuring a property lets quickly. While demand is good for new-build and period homes, landlords who own older period homes realise they must invest in décor and furnishings in order to attract a tenant quickly and achieve a good rental yield. Older homes must be modernised and impeccably presented to compete with the show-home standards of new developments and many landlords are refurbishing to ensure their properties stand out.

In Knightsbridge, we have had an exceptionally busy few weeks. Much of this demand has come from students, who have mainly been looking for studios and one bedroom apartments with hi-speed broadband at the top of their wish-list.  We have also been letting a number of premium properties to senior executives. We have been receiving plenty of new instructions to meet demand from applicants which is very encouraging.

Three bed apartment with river views at Kew

Demand remains consistently high at the Dickens Yard property scheme in Ealing, with our on-site branch reporting that many applicants are asking to view apartments in the latest phase, Dashwood House. We continue to see applicants moving here both from other parts of London and from overseas. Lots commute into central London but increasingly many are travelling to jobs based in company headquarters situated along the M4 corridor. Our Kew branch continues to see demand grow and with its easy commute into central London, more couples are moving to the area looking for a more peaceful lifestyle. We’ve just received a good offer on this three bedroom apartment with fantastic views over the river towards Strand-on-the-Green. Larger units usually take a while to let but a “room with a view” does not keep a property on our books for long.

The rental market around Hyde Park is buoyant, with good demand for all types of property, from the modern apartments in Paddington Basin to the period properties of Fitzrovia, Notting Hill and Bayswater.  We are busy with enquiries for properties across the board, from one bedroom apartments to luxury penthouse apartments and townhouses, all achieving good asking rentals.

We’ve also been sprucing up a few properties for our landlords to bring out their very best rental potential. One client reported back that our refurbishment work on his Victorian conversion in Cleveland Gardens was just 21% of the cost of what he had been quoted by another agent.  Sometimes updating flooring, appliances and providing fresh decoration can be enough to secure a good tenant at full market rental and this is where our experience really demonstrates value. We’re also seeing many renewals, some with modest increases as many landlords sticking with their current rental to keep tenants happy while the market corrects itself after the Referendum.

Nine Elms

Demand remains extremely high at Fulham Reach Hammersmith, with waiting lists of fully-referenced applicants who are ready to move in when a property becomes available. Two bedroom apartments, which are sought-after by professional sharers and young families, are seeing the highest demand. Unsurprisingly, apartments are achieving very close to asking rental. We are very keen to secure more stock here, particularly smaller properties.

Our latest new branch, at Nine Elms Point, has just opened and applicants are quickly discovering that this exciting area of regeneration south of the river has some extremely smart new homes and great amenities yet offers better value for money than homes in nearby central London. It’s also the home to Battersea Power Station where a dramatic transformation is well under way. Nine Elms Point is another development that is fast becoming very popular with professionals, and because it is an easy commute to some of central London’s most renowned universities, it is also a hit with students. The asking rental for a studio is £380 to £430 per week and for a one bedroom apartment £450 to £525 per week, depending on the apartment building and views. For a more in-depth view of the property scene in Nine Elms, view our recent blog.

Two bedroom apartment at Imperial Wharf

Properties are letting very quickly at Imperial Wharf in Fulham and, as ever, two bedroom apartments are in highest demand, appealing to executives working in central London and also the City. Our Fulham branch did 13% more business in September proving how popular this destination continues to be. Apartments are also letting quickly at nearby Chelsea Creek and we are receiving a lot of enquiries about apartments in The Tower, the latest phase of properties to launch. Rents are a little higher here but being on-site, we can offer a range of options to suit most budgets here.

City, Canary Wharf, Docklands, Greenwich and East London

Rental demand remains strong across our City, Canary Wharf, Wapping, Greenwich and Surrey Quays offices and we have good stocks to meet demand. The student market has been even busier than usual this year and budgets have been good. In the City, we have been busy letting one, two and three bedroom apartments to students, many of whom are due to start university in the next week or two. They like the security of an apartment building with a concierge and of course, one that is close to their university.  They usually pay close to asking rental, 6 or 12 months in advance and a higher deposit so are a good option for landlords.  Our Wapping office is preparing for the launch of London Dock later this year and, with the first phase due to launch in December, we expect demand to be high. Asking rentals are likely to be £495 per week for a studio, £595 per week for a one bedroom apartment and £700 per week for a two bedroom apartment.

Canary Wharf is also popular with students as it is close to both Queen Mary University of London and the University of Greenwich. Again, rental demand here has been exceptionally good this year. With most students now settled, the rental market is once again focused on young professionals and we continue to see applicants, particularly from the tech sector, relocating to the UK from overseas, mainly from the US, Europe and Scandinavia. Rental demand is also high at Marine Wharf in Surrey Quays and again we have good stocks to meet this demand. The next phase, Mariner’s Place, is due to launch later this year.

Budgets amongst young professionals are a little lower than previously, prompting some applicants to consider areas that are further out but offer good value such as Greenwich and Woolwich.  Both these areas are extremely popular as their more affordable rents are ideal for young professionals who wish to reduce costs if they are saving for the deposit to buy their own home. With many new developments springing up here we have good stocks of property for applicants to choose from.

North London

Rental demand is strong in Highgate and we are very busy dealing with enquiries, both from UK and overseas applicants. Demand is particularly high for one and two bedroom apartments priced from £300 to £600 per week. Post-Brexit, we have found that some landlords who were previously planning to sell their property have decided to wait and put it on the rental market instead. As a result, we have been receiving more instructions than usual at this time of year and have seen stock levels rising noticeably – these properties are letting well.  If a property is well presented and accurately priced it will let quickly in the current market. Applicants’ budgets are good but they often expect landlords to negotiate. Presentation is key to ensure a property lets quickly.

In Hampstead, rental demand is similarly strong and the last few weeks have seen us very busy with families aiming to move into their new homes before the start of the September school term.   With most now settled, we are again seeing increasing demand from young professionals and couples looking for one and two bedroom apartments.

Goldhawk House at Beaufort Park

The phenomenal rental demand at Beaufort Park in Colindale continues, with apartments letting extremely quickly.  The student market has been very busy – many applicants are looking to share two bedroom apartments and they tend to have good budgets. The new Goldhawk apartments are letting as soon as they become available. Similarly, with the Golding apartments being launched this month, we are seeing equally strong demand and we have a waiting list already. We’re excited about other property developments coming into Colindale and are starting to get enquiries for TNQ and Hendon Waterside. If you have a property in this area, and are considering renting it out, please do get in touch as  there are not enough properties to meet demand currently.



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