Data consultancy LonRes says a dramatic fall in prime London rental stock is forcing rents to rise at last.
The number of properties available to rent across prime London in September was down almost 68 per cent on the the month last year and 38 per cent lower than September 2019.
Rents over the same period were almost 12 per cent higher than a year ago – LonRes describes this as the highest annual change in achieved rents in prime London for more than 10 years, although rents fell dramatically in the capital during the pandemic.
Nonetheless this means ‘achieved rents’ are now back to their pre-lockdown peak, with values across prime London 0.4 per cent higher in September 2021 than the previous peak of February 2020.
LonRes says this also represents a significant turnaround in fortunes for the prime rental market which just over six months ago was reporting annual falls in achieved rents of 19 per cent.
While stock levels are down across the whole of prime London some areas have been particularly hard hit.
In Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth the number of properties available to rent was down by around two-thirds compared to September 2019 and 2020 figures. North of the river in Pimlico, Westminster and Victoria, annual stock levels were also heavily down.
Properties new to the market and which add to the overall rental stock, have fallen too. So far this year there have been 15 per cent fewer new listings compared with 2020 and 27 per cent fewer than the five-year January-to-September average.
Increased competition from tenants chasing fewer properties, means that rent discounts have fallen too.
LonRes says: “Looking ahead we expect low stock levels to result in further increases in achieved rents over the coming months. And with rental growth outpacing increases in sales prices, rental yields could rise further too.”