News: Some London rents down near 30% while other regions prosper

Mon, 16 Nov 20

Renters are quitting London and heading for the regions in search of more space and bigger homes and gardens.

That’s the claim of property search engine Home, which has released an in-depth analysis of the rental market, detailing supply changes, time on market and rent changes.

The study found a dramatic increase of 68 per cent in the monthly supply of homes to rent in London compared to a year ago, as tenants fail to renew tenancies. 

Moreover, the Typical Time on Market for London rental properties - 29 days - is the highest of all regions, as landlords struggle to find tenants keen on city living.

Asking rents have been slashed across London due to a lack of demand in the wake of the first Covid lockdown. 

In the worst-hit boroughs, landlords have dropped their rents by more than double the London-wide average fall in rental value. So over the last year rents have fallen in the City of London by 28.8 per cent, in Hammersmith and Fulham by 23.5 per cent, and in Kensington and Chelsea by 22.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, in lower-density suburbs of the capital, rents are rising. In Bexley, Havering and Croydon rents are up 4.2 per cent, 4.6 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.

Greater London is the only English region to see rents fall over the last year, says Home, and to see the Typical Time on Market figure rise. It takes on average four more days to find a tenant in London than 12 months ago.

The South West is among key destinations for renters in the capital to move to in search of space and greenery, the figures indicate.

Rents in the South West have rocketed 8.3 per cent over the year to their current average of £1,065. Most of this rise - 7.9 per cent - came in the last six months, amid the pandemic. In addition, landlords in the South West are finding tenants far quicker than last year. The Typical Time on Market is just 13 days, four days fewer than last year’s average.

Central to the migration is the desire for more affordable accommodation, more space and ideally a garden, says Home. 

East Anglia is another popular destination, rental and Typical Time on Market figures suggest. 

Rents in the region have risen 6.3 per cent over the last six months and by 7.0 per cent over the year to £1,135. Meanwhile, the Typical Time on Market figure is 19 days which is four days fewer than in November last year.

Similar trends present themselves elsewhere in England, with competition for the limited numbers of available lettings stock pushing up rents: by 9.5 per cent in the East Midlands; 6.7 per cent in the North East; 11.0 per cent in the North West; 14.7 per cent in the West Midlands; and 8.0 per cent in Yorkshire and Humber over the last 12 months. 

However, less demand in the relatively expensive South East has meant that rents have risen only 1.4 per cent.

Wales has seen the largest increase in rents over the last year, up by a dramatic 22.3 per cent. The average rent in the principality is now £894 and the Typical Time on Market figure is 15 days, three days fewer than last year.

In Scotland, the average rent is £857, an increase of 15.8 per cent year-on-year. The Typical Time on Market has been slashed by four days to 20 over the last year.



“While homeworking is not an option for all, this lifestyle change is now a key trend that is reshaping rental demand. Since the Greater London rental market represents nearly half of the UK lettings market, any refocusing of demand towards the regions will have a dramatic effect on the balance of supply and demand” explains Home’s director Doug Shephard.

“This is why we are witnessing dramatic rent hikes in most English regions, Scotland and Wales. In fact, Welsh rents (and home prices for that matter) are rising to such an extent that locals fear of being priced out by newcomers. Wales will certainly not be alone in feeling the knock-on effect of the exodus from the UK’s largest cities.” 






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