As we enter the busy spring period, signs of life are starting to appear in the lettings market. After what was considered a fairly subdued period, demand is climbing and we’ve so far seen a 19% increase in the number of tenants registering year on year. In a similar vein, viewing numbers are up by 35% compared to the same time last year. Indeed, things are shifting somewhat.
The change has come from a variety of places and there is no one type of property that is currently more in demand than any other. The corporate market has become much more active with many young professionals on good budgets looking for secure, high end homes. Very often, these tenants are benefiting from their companies paying for their relocation and many landlords like the security which they are able to offer in addition to the longer tenancies they are usually more willing to sign.
Another growing demographic is the family market and as we get closer to summer and the school holidays we should see this climb further. Good schools and being within these catchments is the primary motivator for many and often these homes can achieve a premium of up to 20%. Again, these tenants are usually happier to sign longer tenancies, in some cases of up to two or three years.
Young professionals and couples are increasingly looking for new areas to reside in, with budgets being a deciding factor. As a result, previously less sought after areas or those seen as providing better value for money have seen a rise in popularity as many renters are increasingly priced out of the more traditional zone 1 and 2 areas. Locations such as Tooting, Peckham and Stoke Newington have all benefited from this new type moving in by the dozen and as a result the areas have become more trendy and sought after.
But while demand levels are rising, the buoyant sales market has seen us lose some stock to landlords keen to cash in on the heady prices being achieved. Joint valuations for both sales and lettings are becoming the norm with many owners keen to weigh up their options. Many owner occupiers however, seeing new property values being achieved, have been able to take advantage and remortgage their home, using the revised value to find deposit funds for an upsize purchase. With prices rising on a monthly basis, many owners are keen to hang on to their property as the threat of never being able to afford to own in London again hangs over them. As a result, we have seen a slight increase in stock levels as they decide to rent these homes out although currently, stock levels just aren’t able to keep up with those of demand. As the number of tenants grows, we’re finding that open day viewings and multiple offers are making a comeback.