London residential rental market disparate due to Brexit uncertainty


London residential rental market disparate due to Brexit uncertainty Rents in London have peaked in many locations with the market currently stagnant and facing uncertainty due to the UK deciding to leave the European Union, the latest analysis suggests.

While Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings’ Heat Map generally shows relatively consistent trends across the capital, second quarter results show a disparate market.

For example rents were up more than 4% in Chelsea but in nearby South Kensington they were down more than 4%. Similar contradictory results were to be found across London with adjacent areas showing wildly different fortunes.

The report explains that even in the early part of this year, uncertainty over Brexit was affecting the prime central London rental market. Non-nationals were awaiting the result of the referendum while UK nationals were finding better value in East London and the suburbs. Rents in central London were falling, much to the frustration of landlords who were also suffering from the double blow of stagnating capital growth.

Rental value growth was to be found in outer London until recently. However, the most recent figures from Benham & Reeves Lettings demonstrates that rental values have finally peaked there, as well. Most areas outside of prime central London saw rents plateau or boast only nominal growth.

The report says it is perhaps noteworthy that there is a lack of definable trends. Hampstead Garden Suburb saw growth of over 4.5% while adjacent North Finchley saw rents fall by over 10%. The report suggests that the contrast may be due in part to the reopening of the Northern Line interchange at Tottenham Court Road.

The eastern part of the City also saw double digit growth, thanks in part to the release of some highly anticipated new developments in the area, while the western part of the City saw rents fall by over 4%.

‘There is nothing the property market hates more than uncertainty. While the referendum result may not have been what many London residents wanted, it has provided us with an answer,’ said Marc von Grundherr of Benham & Reeves Lettings.

‘Our quarter two results are a reflection of what was happening in the market in the run up to the vote. If anything, the referendum result could be just what the market needed. The rental market always benefits in financially volatile times as people would rather rent than commit to buying a property,’ he explained.

‘Demand is still strong and since the referendum, we are receiving an average of 17 applicants per property compared to 13.9 at this time last year. Notably, many of the applicants have been from the EU,’ he added.

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London residential rental market disparate due to Brexit uncertainty
BDC July 2022 issue - 294

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