Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, one of the Capital’s largest independent estate agents with over 50 branches in London, has seen further signs of improvement to the lettings market. Across the group’s network of branches, rents have increased by an average of 5% compared with the same time last year. In further evidence of pressure on prices, the average monthly rental price currently being achieved is £1,538.00 in comparison to £1,476.00 seen in 2011.
Interestingly, a number of areas have outperformed this 5% increase quite significantly and in some cases by more than double. In South West London, Balham and Tooting have both seen increases of 8%, while in North London Belsize Park has seen a rise of 10%. South East London however appears to be reporting the largest increases, with Surrey Quays seeing rises of 13% followed closely by Blackheath with 12% and Streatham with 11%.
Along with increased rental prices, tenancy lengths are also on the rise. The average length of tenancy at KFH has increased from 14 to 15 months. Area’s where tenancy lengths have risen well beyond this include Crouch End and East Dulwich where tenancies are averaging 17 months.
James Thornett, Regional Lettings Director at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward Comments: “The lettings market in London is experiencing huge amounts of growth as it becomes increasingly difficult for buyers to get onto the property ladder. We’re noticing rises particularly in areas that were once less popular and with the exception of Belsize Park, this ‘overspill’ is becoming increasingly prevalent as the traditional ‘core’ rental areas become too expensive for many tenants.
“As rents continue upwards it is no surprise to see tenants requesting long and longer tenancies, as they attempt to ‘lock in’ to their properties for the maximum time on offer. In such a frugal economy, many are keen to minimise the costs associated with moving as well as tenancy administration costs. While this trend is an advantage to tenants, it is also gaining popularity among landlords who are keen to avoid costly vacant periods where their property could remain un-let. In quite a few cases, pre-agreed rent increases are also built into the tenancy agreement, to ensure that the rent keeps pace with the rising market and in line with the tentant's budget.”