London agent witnesses sky-high tenant demand

London letting agent Chestertons has seen a 25% rise in tenant demand year-on-year, suggesting the capital is currently an extremely competitive market.

At the same time the number of properties available has fallen by 69%.

Richard Davies, head of lettings, said: “London’s rental market has been witnessing a flurry of activity over the past year. During the peak of the pandemic, we saw many renters seeking a new home at a better price or with outside space which led to increased enquiries for areas outside of central London such as Barnes, Richmond and Kew.

“As 2021 unfolded, the market registered a gradual return of corporate tenants, international students and professionals who considered a partial return to the office and therefore required a property closer to central London.

“We have seen this demand continue throughout the usually quieter month of December and predict activity levels to remain very high for at least the first quarter of 2022.”

In December 2021 the agency’s branches noticed a 36% year-on-year uplift in the number of tenants renewing their rental agreement.

Rightmove data shows that the average rental price for a home in inner London stands at £2,348 and £1,777 in outer London.

Davies added: “Many renters were able to secure a better-priced rental home during the pandemic and are keen to hold on to a good deal as long as possible.

“With fewer tenants willing to move, the number of properties coming back onto the market for rent, particularly at the more affordable end of the market, will equally decline.

“As such, tenants wanting to move this year may need to be willing to compromise or consider less central neighbourhoods in order to secure a suitable property within their budget.”

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