Winkworth has told its shareholders that the rental market is to boom – a lot.
“In lettings we anticipate that prices will move up significantly due to a lack of supply. Rental demand remains very strong and, while we expect to see growth in rentals income in 2022, this will be limited by the availability of properties” explains the agency in its latest trading statement to shareholders.
It continues: “With a busy end to the year in London and increasing interest in central London markets, where both sales and lettings are benefiting as city life returns to a more normal footing, we expect activity to be brisk in 2022.”
The agency says that after a strong first half of 2021 the rental market suffered from reduced availability, in part due to landlords selling down properties which have become less profitable due to increased regulatory and management costs, and also as a result of many tenants renewing lease agreements.
Rental income from its offices outside the capital increased by 10 per cent last year while outer London rents rose eight per cent and – with a strong finish to the year – central London by four per cent. In London the agency saw rental prices move ahead of pre-pandemic levels towards the end of 2021.
Dominic Agace, chief executive of the company, comments: “We made excellent progress in 2021, with a good performance in rentals and sales income exceeding all company records. We welcomed six new franchises to the group, while our two newly owned offices produced strong results.
“We are mindful of the impact that the tragic situation in Ukraine may have on UK inflation, interest rates and consumer confidence, but have seen ongoing strong demand in the first quarter of the current year with encouraging numbers of applications for both sales and lettings.
“With new areas of regional expansion, our backing of ambitious operators building local businesses, and growth in our core business, where our long-established offices are benefiting from a revival in activity in their prime markets, we see opportunities to grow our business above market trend whilst both paying a progressive dividend and maintaining a healthy cash balance.”