demand for London flats is yet to s…

Despite a move back to normality for those living and working within the capital, demand for apartment-style living across London is yet to return. Ocasa, the specialist affordable rental platform, looked at tenant demand for flats across each region of Britain, including current stock levels.

A pricy rental sector

It’s hardly surprising that smaller flats and apartments form much of the rental stock currently available on the market with the rental sector already notoriously expensive, as they enabled a lower cost of renting.

In fact, Ocasa discovered that flats currently account for 55% of all rental homes listed to let across Britain.

Closely followed by Scotland, London is home to the highest level of flat rental stock at 83.3%, yet work-from-home advice during the pandemic caused demand for London flats to plummet as professional tenants looked further afield for affordability.

The nations’ demands for flat living

Although there has been a return to normality, it seems as though demand for London flats is yet to follow suit. In fact, of the current flats available to rent across the London market, just 31.9% of those listed to rent have already had a let agreed with a tenant.

Therefore, London only ranks seventh out of all the regions of Britain when it comes to demand for flat living.

Currently, it’s the East of England that ranks top as the nation’s rental hotspot with a massive 50.9% of all flats available in the rental market at the moment having already been snapped up. The South West follows closely where this tenant demand sits at 50.6%.

When it comes to the immediate appetite for rental flats by their respective tenants, then the South East (48.4%), Wales (39.1%), North West (34.1%) and West Midlands (33%) all also rank well above the capital.

At 25.7%, the East Midlands is home to the lowest tenant demand for flat rentals.

Head of sales and marketing at Ocasa, Jack Godby, commented: “While flats and apartments are always going to be the predominant style of rental stock available in built-up urban areas, they also offer a far more affordable option when renting due to their smaller size and so they’re often preferable to the vast majority of tenants.”

“This is particularly true in London where the cost of renting is far higher than in any other area of Britain, but it seems that despite a return to normality and the workplace, demand for this style of renting within the capital is yet to see a revival.”

“This is undoubtedly due to the influence of the pandemic as many tenants have been able to maintain an element of flexible working, meaning they no longer mind a longer commute from outside the M25 when it isn’t a Monday to Friday requirement.”

Godby concluded: “It remains to be seen how long this trend may last, but as it stands, the glory days of the London rental market could be some way away from returning.”

    Table shows what percentage of total rental stock is flats, as well as what percentage of these total flats have already been let agreed

Demand % – flats

Stock % – flats

    East of England 50.9% 43.6%
    South West 50.6% 47.2%
    South East 48.4% 47.5%
    Wales 39.1% 46.0%
    North West 34.1% 46.3%
    West Midlands region 33.0% 37.5%
    London 31.9% 83.3%

Yorkshire and the Humber

29.7% 37.4%
    North East 28.6% 58.0%
    Scotland 28.4% 83.1%
    East Midlands 25.7% 40.2%
    England 36.7% 54.7%
    Great Britain 36.4% 55.1%

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