Central London Rents Rise as Available Rental Homes Drop

Young London renters finding it challenging to find properties without expert search support

By: Ann Dinsdale, GMS,


Couple rental in LondonGeneration rent is being squeezed from the centre of London and deep into the suburbs as landlords rid themselves of expensive central properties and invest in the capital’s fringes instead.

Recent research finds the total number of homes available to rent in London has fallen by 17 per cent year on year.  And yet demand continues to grow.  The disparity has pushed rents up to an average £1,785 a month.

The study, by Hamptons International, found that the more expensive the location the bigger the drop in the number of homes to let.

In Kensington, Islington, Westminster and Camden, the number of available rental homes has crashed by a third and rents have risen. In Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster, the average rent has topped the £3,000-a-month mark. While average rents in Islington and Camden are now over £2,000 a month.

There have also been big drops in rental supply in Hammersmith, Richmond, Lambeth and the City, with rents creeping upward as a result.

Young renters pushed into outer London in search of value for money will have to factor in higher transport costs if they want to work or socialise in Zones 1 or 2. 

David Fell, the research analyst, says the large fall in the number of homes to let has been prompted by landlords selling up buy-to-let properties after tax relief on their mortgage interest payments was removed in April, reducing their profit margins. 

And a recent study by the National Landlords Association found that 84 per cent of existing landlords had no plans to increase their rental portfolios after Stamp Duty payments were increased last year.

“In September this year there are 17 per cent fewer homes on the market to rent than last September and the fall in supply is beginning to put some upward pressure on rents,” says Fell.  “As stock levels have dropped and demand remains, tenants find themselves with less choice.  As a result, rents began to creep up in July after eight months of falls.”

“In September over half of London-based landlords bought outside the capital, an average of 38 miles away.”

Employers moving young assignees to London are wise to invest in rental search support services from them.  At Saunders 1865 – The VIP Relocation firm – we have a support package to suit every budget and every case from CEO level down to most junior assignees.  Everyone gets  VIP-level relocation support so they can hit the ground running and start being productive in their new work location with the minimum fuss and stress.

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