Interest from prospective tenants in top end London lettings market highest for five years

The number of tenancies agreed and new prospective tenants in the top end lettings markets in London registering in the first quarter of 2019 was the highest in five years, according to a new analysis.

While pent-up demand has built in the sales market in recent months, Brexit related uncertainty in early 2019 has also boosted lettings demand, says the report from international real estate firm Knight Frank.

Overall in the prime central London lettings market rents increased by 0.6% in the year to April 2019 but fell 0.2% month on month. While on the outer London prime market rents increased by 0.4% and 0.2% respectively.

The report also shows that both sales listings and lettings listings have seen large spikes over the last year. This volatility reflects how some landlords have attempted to sell in response to higher taxes but have returned to the lettings market after failing to achieve their asking price.

The number of new prospective tenants for properties rented out at £5,000 plus per week reached its second highest level in the first quarter of 2019 while the number of viewings was the strongest ever.

Despite a five-year high for £20 million-plus sales last year, political uncertainty has also boosted demand in the high value lettings market.

At the lower end of the prime market, properties rented for £250 to £500 per week have performed the best. In the central London market rents for these properties have increased by 3.4% year on year and in outer London by 1.4%.

Flats have also done well with rents for apartments in prime central London up by 1.1% year on year and in outer prime London the rent has gone up by 0.7% on an annual basis.

Rents for houses in prime central London have been more stable, down 0.7% year on year and flat month on month. While in prime outer London house rents have increased 0.1% year on year and 0.3% month on month.