Q: Are London rents going to fall in this economic climate and how can I protect myself?
Despite your worry about London rents, rented accommodation – particularly in London – is still in high demand.
In part, this is due to the poor economic opportunities in the Eurozone. London’s landlords are reaping the benefits of an influx of young, white-collar workers from Italy and Spain. Another group contributing to the boom are those who are waiting to get onto the property ladder and are increasingly waiting out the slump in longer term lets.
In fact, 2011 was a year of record demand, with 2-3 prospective tenants per property. Many landlords saw double-digit rent increases last year, and that’s likely to be maintained at an affordable high as long as demand for rent remains at its peak.
Conversely, it isn’t always advisable to take advantage of increasing rents if a landlord is looking for rental security. If a landlord has good existing tenants, there may be greater benefit in negotiating a small rise in rent rather than start the letting process all over again. This way, the landlord avoids incurring costs on cleaning and rental voids.
Market facts and figures for the London Letting market:
- Demand for London rental property from Italy jumped 25% in November, compared to the previous year.
- Renters who would traditionally be entering the housing market as first time buyers are turning to longer lets, of up to three years in some cases.
- 74% of ARLA agents report that there are more tenants than property available, meaning London will keep delivering high yields. (3rd quarter 2011)
London's landlords are likely to find rents being maintained throughout 2012 because of higher demand for lettings due to current property market challenges.
Whatever the current economic climate, for peace of mind, ludlowthompson recommends rental and legal warranty cover.