Average asking rents in London hit record £2,034 as number of available properties drops sharply

Number of lets on the market fell 22% in the capital, with prices expected to rise further this year 

Ben Chapman
Thursday 17 January 2019 02:51 GMT
Outside London average asking rents fell 0.6 per cent in the last three months of 2018
Outside London average asking rents fell 0.6 per cent in the last three months of 2018 (PA)

Average asking rents in London rose to an all-time high of £2,034 in the last quarter of 2018, according to new research.

Rightmove found that asking rents in the capital rose 2.1 per cent, their fastest pace in almost four years, with a further increase of 4 per cent predicted for 2019.

The average surpassed a previous peak reached in early 2016 as the available rental stock in the capital dropped 22 per cent in a year.

A less pronounced pattern emerged outside London where there were 10 per cent fewer rental properties available and asking rents decreased 0.6 per cent to £798 on average..

Rightmove predicts prices across the UK, excluding the capital, will rise 3 per cent this year a supply continues to be restricted.

The northwest has seen the biggest increase in tenant demand, with six towns from the region making the top 10 this year.

The top five include Hertford, Bootle, Bracknell, Winsford and Prenton. In the capital, east London dominates the top five, which comprised East Ham, Forest Gate, Biggin Hill, Elephant and Castle and Chadwell Heath.

Hertford saw the largest rise in demand from tenants over the past year outside London, while East Ham has seen the biggest increase in demand in London.

A flood of rental properties came onto market in 2016 and 2017 which has since slowed down thanks to increased taxes on buy-to-let property.

Miles Shipside, commercial director at Rightmove, said there were no signs of an increase in buy-to-let activity this year, meaning rents are likely to continue to rise.

He advised tenants to try to strike up a genuine rapport with their landlord when negotiating rents.

“It eases landlords’ concerns if they have a tenant in situ for several years, while a tenant with a good relationship with their landlord will stand a better chance of negotiating more favourable rents,” he said.

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