A new trend developing in prime central London suggests that tenants are demanding smaller properties – and that’s despite the pandemic appearing to have led to a ‘race for space’ elsewhere.
New data from LonRes says that homes let across prime London during July and August were on average 931 square feet.
This is 84 square foot or eight per cent smaller than the average property let between 2016 and 2019, and has led LonRes to speculate that this indicates pied-a-terres renting rather than more permanent residents.
New lets in the last three months – so from June to August inclusive – were 6.8 per cent up on the same period a year ago.
However the month of August saw 14.1 per cent fewer new lets compared to August 2020, and new rental listings were also dramatically down – by 28.3 per cent – in August compared to the same month a year ago.
Commenting on the findings, Marcus Dixon, head of research at LonRes, says: “Since the re-opening of the housing market in mid-May last year, buyers have sought out properties with more space. This has been a market driven by domestic buyers.
“International purchasers – who traditionally account for a large proportion of prime London buyers – had limited access to the market and stayed away.
“Meanwhile those looking to remain in London were buying longer-term family homes and were prepared to pay a premium for the right property in the right location. This has benefitted markets such as Notting Hill, St John’s Wood and Hampstead as well as family friendly south west London neighbourhoods.
“The opposite has been true for lettings where there has been a pickup in prime London tenants choosing location over property size.
“During the summer months we have seen a rise in the number of pied-à-terre lets in central locations, as workers head back to the office.”