Despite a notable slow-down in the number of corporate relocation enquiries in the immediate run-up to the EU referendum, the number of International and UK based corporate enquiries in July was at the highest level all year, according to research from Knight Frank.
The property firm said international tenants accounted for 38% of all tenancies agreed between April and June. And in Ascot Cobham and Esher, where corporate tenancies are more prevalent, this rose figure rose to 47%.
In general, the underlying demand for rental property has remained strong with the number of new prospective tenants registering in the second quarter some 6% higher than the same period in 2015 and the number of viewings up by 12% year-on-year.
Higher stock levels account for the slight fall in quarterly (0.6%) and annual growth (-0.8%) as landlords remain competitive and keep void periods to a minimum.
Jemma Scott, a partner at Knight Frank, said: “The latest figures show that Home Counties lettings are equally as affected by the global markets as prime central London, which reflects the market conditions we are experiencing. Increasing stock levels, coupled with a surge in tenant enquiries, reflect the desire of clients and tenants alike to take advantage of the popular summer rental market. As a result, our teams are incredibly busy as the number of new applicants leads to shorter turnarounds.
“Corporate relocation makes up an important part of demand within the market. This was affected by the uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum, with enquiries dropping in the period immediately before the vote. However, July was our busiest month of the year for enquiries as companies look to register and move applicants as soon as possible before any concrete negotiations with the EU begin. Given that the Home Counties lettings market is not historically overly reliant on tenants from the financial sector, we do not see any reason why it should not continue to grow as prospective tenants continue to seek lifestyle, space and good schools.”