Tenant demand continues to climb in the London rental market

Property Reporter
17th March 2022
London 7

The capital’s rental market has been arguably the worst hit as a result of the pandemic, with working from home and travel restrictions both playing their part in causing demand and rental values to plummet in 2021.

However, research by rental portal, Rentd, highlights that this decline is quickly reversing in 2022, with rental values climbing annually across 42% of London boroughs, while tenant demand has increased across every London borough since this time last year.

With the current average rent sitting at £1,597 across London, tenants are still benefiting from a pandemic decline in rental values, paying -3% less per month on average compared to a year ago.

The City of London continues to be the worst hit, with rental values down -19% versus a year ago, with Lambeth (-12%) and Westminster (-10%) also enduring a double-digit decline.

Yet not every borough of the capital is following this top-line trend. Kingston upon Thames has seen the largest increase in rental values over the last year at +12%, with Bexley (+8%) and Croydon (+7%) also seeing a notable increase.

As many as 11 other boroughs have also seen rental values climb year on year, albeit at a more conservative rate of between 1% and 3%.

What’s more, the latest data from Rentd suggests that the positive shoots of rental price growth seen across much of the capital could soon spread.

Rentd analysed rental demand based on the proportion of rental homes listed across London that have already been snapped up by returning tenants.

The research shows that 42% of rental market stock has already been let in the current London market, a +12% increase on this time last year.

Barking and Dagenham has seen the largest uplift in demand with a +23% increase in the level of rental stock being let, with Waltham Forest (+22%), Newham (+21%), Haringey (+19%) and Greenwich (+19%) also seeing some of the largest jumps.

In terms of highest demand currently, Bexley (59%), Lewisham, Bromley, Sutton and Waltham Forest (54%) rank top.

Ahmed Gamal, Founder and CEO of Rentd, commented: “During the pandemic, the London rental market was knocked for six due to a severe decline in both domestic and international tenant demand. The result of which was some drastic declines in rental values and we’re still seeing the tailwind of this trend today.

"However, as we’ve edged further and further back towards normality rental values have started to climb in many areas and we’ve also seen an uplift in rental demand across the entire market. While the impact of this increasing demand won’t be immediately visible where rental values are concerned, it’s only a matter of time before we see the capital return to full health as a result.”

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