Chances of renting in parts of London are ‘almost non-existent’

Chances of renting in parts of London are ‘almost non-existent’

0:01 AM, 18th July 2023, About 11 months ago

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A report reveals that in one area of London, the chances of a renter finding somewhere to rent are ‘almost non-existent’.

And with just 4% of the capital’s rental properties currently available for new tenants, the market is tough for most renters.

According to a new report by Benham and Reeves, there are just 40,500 homes available to rent out of more than one million rental properties in the capital.

The lettings and estate agent has looked at rental stock availability and found that the number of homes to rent increased slightly in the last quarter by 21% – and by 5% over the past year.

‘Rental sector has been on fire of late’

Marc von Grundherr, a director of the firm, said: “London may be seeing a subdued rate of growth when it comes to the sales market, but the rental sector has been on fire of late and is buckling under the pressure of huge tenant demand.

“A return to normality has seen increased activity from professional tenants, students and foreign renters, all of which have caused stock levels to plummet, making it extremely difficult for new tenants to find and secure a property.”

The worst affected borough is Barking and Dagenham, where only 180 homes are up for rent out of more than 18,000 rental properties – that’s 1% of the total.

Other boroughs with extremely low availability rates are Newham, Haringey, Croydon, Havering, Bexley, Enfield, Redbridge and Waltham Forest, where only 2% of the rental properties are on the market.

Though Ealing, Hounslow, Bromley, Brent, Hillingdon, Harrow, Sutton and Lewisham fare slightly better with 3%, but that is still far below the average demand.

Less than one in 10 rental homes are open to new tenants

The situation is not much better in the rest of London, Benham and Reeves says, as the report shows that in 12 more boroughs, less than one in 10 rental homes are open to new tenants.

Only four boroughs – Camden, City of London, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster – have a higher percentage of available rental stock, ranging from 10% to 12%, but these are also among the most expensive areas to live in London.

Mr von Grundherr said: “As our research shows, stock levels are scarcest across the capital’s more peripheral, affordable boroughs, but even those with the financial clout to rent in prime central London will struggle.

“In fact, we’re seeing an average of 37 applicants for every available rental property that enters the market.”

Landlords in London have seen a four-fold increase in mortgage costs

The report also warns that landlords in London have seen a four-fold increase in the monthly cost of their mortgage which will lead to higher rents.

Or, the higher costs mean that landlords ‘will have to exit the sector’.

Mr von Grundherr said: “If they do, even less stock to meet demand will also push up rents so it’s a tough time to be a tenant whichever way you look at it.

“The only silver lining is that the total number of homes to let has started to creep up, however, this increase is simply insufficient when it comes to fulfilling the current appetite for London rental properties.”

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