More evidence of Central London rental over-supply

28 January 2021 | Renting

More evidence of Central London rental over-supply

Another major agency operating in central London confirms that the fall-out from the pandemic continues to produce a glut of units and a shortage of prospective tenants.

Yesterday we reported that Benham and Reeves admitted that many tenants are reluctant to commit to the high cost of renting in London – partly because of the rise of remote working, and partly because of the absence of the capital’s social life to draw them in.

Now Richard Davies, head of lettings at Chestertons, has backed up the position saying: “A significant proportion of tenants in city centres are international students and corporate tenants. Due to Covid-related travel bans, this audience has declined considerably since the pandemic has hit this country, having a direct impact on prime lettings markets. 

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“As a result, there’s currently a larger number of available rental properties on the market; many of which were previously let on short term contracts via platforms such as Airbnb. 

“High availability has resulted in sizeable drops in rents, whereby prices for flats with no outside space have been hit especially hard. Larger family houses have generally maintained their rental values. We have found that the people currently viewing properties are mainly tenants who are already in rented accommodation in London but want to take advantage of lower rents.”

However, Davies says that Chestertons is now seeing many more cross referral tenancies across its London network of 32 offices. And he suggests landlords are increasingly flexible in terms of rents and tenancies.

“Although some [renters] welcome the future of returning to an office from a social perspective, their work could be reduced to two or three days in the office as opposed to five days a week. 

“This means more tenants are flexible with regards to location and their commute. Many are also looking to secure a longer-term tenancy at the current lower rental level compared to 12 months ago.”

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.