London rental market heating up

The number of available properties in London has fallen by 42% in July compared to the corresponding period the year before, analysis from Chestertons estate agency shows.

At the same time demand for rental properties is up 19% year-on-year across the capital.

Richard Davies, head of lettings at Chestertons, said: “Whilst there were deals to be had during the height of the pandemic and the first quarter of this year, tenants are now entering a much more competitive market.

“Since the easing of lockdown restrictions, we have been witnessing an evident surge in tenant enquiries across London.

“This has resulted in the number of available properties dropping to pre-pandemic levels, which will inevitably lead to an increase in rents.”

The estate agency said tenants who are still looking to find a home and negotiate a reduction off the asking rent are facing a race against time.

As supply and demand are becoming more balanced, landlords are less likely to negotiate rents, as there’s been a 63% decline in the number of rent reductions in July compared to July 2020.

Some of London’s areas that have already seen rent increases since this time last year include Hyde Park +31%, St. John’s Wood +27% and Fulham +21%.

There’s also been reduction in tenant withdrawals. Comparing July this year to 2020, Chestertons found that 22% fewer tenants pulled out of their planned rental agreement.

Davies added: “Tenants who are eager to still find more property for their money, may wish to consider the locations of Canary Wharf, Kentish Town, Bermondsey and Pimlico where rents are still comparably low.”

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