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Lettings Market Comment Winter 2024

By Fraser Gregory  //  Thu 18th January 2024
After the seasonal quiet December, the New Year brings a flurry of activity and a sense of change.

Out with the old and in with the new, there has been a welcome shift as more properties are hitting the Prime Central London rental market, offering tenants a break from the one-sided frenzy of last year. A sluggish sales market has prompted a number of vendors to reconsider their decision to sell, opting to rent out their properties instead.

This January, new rental listings increased by 10% compared to last year, and a newfound confidence is showing among tenants. With more options to choose from, many are re-evaluating their current leases, particularly if faced with rent increases. This shift will likely fuel further supply, creating a more dynamic market.

While rents remain higher than previous years (up 6.8% in prime central London), demand has started to ease. Meaning tenants are now taking their time, comparing options, and negotiating before committing. A stark contrast to the 12 months prior, when securing any apartment often meant being first through the door and offer asking price or higher.
In short, the London rental market is shifting, but not dramatically.

The current increased supply provides tenants with more choice, but the reliable demand ensures landlords still hold some leverage and with rising mortgage costs, taxes and regulations such as the Renters Reform Bill all still in the mix this should keep rents high this year by ensuring there is not a surplus of properties. It's a period of rediscovering balance, with tenants doing their due diligence and landlords facing fresh considerations.

In legislative news, the much talked about Renters Reform Bill is yet to progress much further. In October last year, the government announced that they will not abolish the Section 21 eviction route until reforms are made to the justice system and sufficient progress has been made to improve the way courts deal with legitimate possession cases.

The courts have had significant delays in dealing with evictions, especially because of Covid-19 backlog, which need to be cleared first. In the interim, landlords are advised to continue to use the Section 21 process as it stands. We will continue to keep you updated on any developments but for now it is business as usual.

We have serious, motivated, applicants ready to move across the board from 1-bedroom flats to 5+ bed houses so if you have been considering letting your property or you haven’t been able to achieve the price you hoped in the sales market, now is the perfect time to let.

Please call or email us, we’d be happy to give an up-to-date free valuation and assist in finding the right tenancy for your situation, whether you need a long-term 2-3 year let or a 1-year let with a six-month break clause as a stopgap whilst waiting for the sales market to improve.

As an experienced independent agency we are able to adapt to whatever the requirement and are happy to help in any way we can.

Offices at

Marble Arch
29 Edgware Road
London
W2 2JE
f: 020-7258-3090
Knightsbridge
34 Beauchamp Place
London
SW3 1NU
f: 020-7581-7005