Chestertons: London super prime lettings market making a return

Ryan Fowler

March 29, 2021

Central London’s prime rental market is witnessing a wave of enquiries from tenants with demand for London’s top-end rental properties having skyrocketed by 30% in Q1 when compared to a year ago, research from estate agency Chestertons has revealed.

Chestertons recently agreed lets on a number of high-end properties with rents ranging from £2,000 – £5,000 a week. In particularly high demand are one and two-bedroom apartments in some of London’s most sought-after neighbourhoods such as Mayfair, Kensington, Holland Park and Chelsea.

Chestertons said the current demand is so strong that some properties are being let off-market, whilst those that have been listed, secured new tenants within two weeks and often after just one viewing.

Richard Davies, Chestertons’ head of lettings, said: “Since the pandemic, London’s lettings market has been subject to a clear oversupply. The number of available properties to rent is 83% higher than this time last year, which led to many landlords of top-end properties dropping their rents. The potential savings have not gone unnoticed by savvy renters whose confidence in the economy and the property market has been revitalised by the government’s roadmap and ongoing success in the vaccine rollout.

“The majority of tenants currently looking to move are already in rented accommodation but are eager to secure more property for their money.”

Recent statistics by Zoopla showed that rents in Central London have decreased considerably.

Gráinne Gilmore, head of research, Zoopla added: “During the height of the pandemic, areas in outer London and the wider commuter-zones were recording an upsurge in rental demand, and rising rents. In central London, there was an uptick in supply and an associated decline in rents.

“As the roll-out of the vaccine continues and offices start to open up again during the Spring and Summer, rental supply and demand in central London will likely rebalance, and there are already signs that the downward pressure on rents is starting to ease.”

Davies concluded: “Our offices are now agreeing lets with tenants who are keen to move fast with some committing to 2-year fixed contracts. With businesses and the public wanting to return to some form of normality sooner rather than later, we predict a continuous recovery of London’s lettings market, inevitably leading to rents reaching pre-pandemic levels.”

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