Rising sentiment sees London's rental market strengthen in April

Tenant demand has risen by 12% in April following an influx of available rental property during Q1.

Related topics:  London,  Tenants,  Rental Market
Property | Reporter
23rd May 2024
Foxtons 816
"The first quarter of 2024 saw a significant influx of new properties compared with 2023 and as such, fewer renters per property – or in broad terms, competition"
- Gareth Atkins - Foxtons

The latest data released by Foxtons has shown that while there was a 10% fall in demand comparing 2024 to 2023 year to date, April 2024 saw a 6% increase in demand compared to April 2023.

Alongside the improved sentiment, the seasonal upturn in the lettings market also contributed to higher demand from tenants. An increase in supply in the first quarter had slowed competition, which renters have now noticed and are seizing the opportunity to make a move.

Rental prices

The average rental price is in line with 2023, with the average rental prices in London increasing only 3% in April 2024 and the average price across all of London currently sitting at £555. Additionally, since the beginning of 2024, there has been an 11% increase in new market listings, but April 2024 had the same number of new listings as April 2023. Foxtons expects prices to continue to track closely over the next quarter.

New renters per new instruction have remained constant at an average of 14 per instruction throughout the whole of 2024 so far. This is 22% down compared to 2023 year to date. South and West London showed the highest number of new renters per new instructions with an average of 19 and 18 respectively.

Applicant budgets remain higher in 2024 than any other year, with a 3% increase year to date compared to 2023. As demand is increasing seasonally, applicant budgets are following a similar trend. West London has the lowest average applicant budget at £481, a 4% YOY increase from 2023. Central London also continues to command the highest applicant budgets across all of London, averaging £580.

Gareth Atkins, Managing Director of Lettings at Foxtons, said: “The first quarter of 2024 saw a significant influx of new properties compared with 2023 and as such, fewer renters per property – or in broad terms, competition.

"One of the knock-on effects of that was a stagnation of average prices, which we predicted in January. Early data from Quarter 2 has seen not only that supply slowed but also the return of 2023 levels of applicants which, if it continues, would indicate a stronger rental market.”

Sarah Tonkinson, Managing Director of Institutional PRS and Built to Rent at Foxtons, said: "The spring market has definitely sprung into action, and registrations for Build to Rent are coming in thick and fast. Foxtons’ Build to Rent portfolio is already seeing a significant increase in under-offer and exchanged leases compared to the same period last year.

"This time of year applicants commerce their searches in earnest buoyed by the lighter evenings and better weather. Students want to secure a lease for September before they leave for summer.”

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