The prime property lettings market in London has experienced a strong third quarter with high demand from a range of tenants including high net worth students, families and corporate sharers.
But the lettings marker in London does tend to be seasonal and this summer it is students who have underpinned the market, according to the latest report from residential agency at JLL.
‘We have seen year on year growth in high net worth students coming in, both from the UK and from overseas. They tend to rent one or two bedroom flats and have budgets of around £500 to £1,000 per week,’ said Lucy Morton, head of residential agency at JLL.
‘There is also a strong market for corporate lets who are taking more commercial space despite the Brexit uncertainty, companies want a London base for their employees as they can easily fly in and around Europe from here,’ she explained.
‘Businesses such as Goldman Sachs and Unilever have confirmed that their headquarters are staying in London and with that comes an army of employees who want to rent. These tenants usually require one or two bedroom apartments, so we’ve seen particularly high demand in this market and there is now a shortage of one and two bed properties available to let,’ she pointed out.
In JLL’s Canary Wharf office, student demand is also high. Lauren Hatcliff, associate director, said that the office has seen its busiest month for lettings with September lettings up by 23% on August, and 63% higher than in July even although July 2018 lettings were also up year on year.
She explained that the busy September market was largely driven by the student market who like the facilities, including security and accessibility to the City and there has also been strong interest from young professionals starting internships in the City.
‘We also saw a high level of tenants renewing their agreements. Our renewals in August and September 2018 are up by 20% compared to last year in Canary Wharf as people are happy to continue renting whilst they wait to see the Brexit outcome,’ she added.
JLL’s Greenwich office has experienced a similar pattern. According to Yasmin Forrester, buyers are adopting a wait and see approach. ‘We are seeing demand from a range of tenants, particularly young professionals,’ she said.
‘Build to Rent schemes are becoming more popular with these tenants, who are attracted to the amenities and community lifestyle. For example, we’ve let 60 properties in the Horizon building in Lewisham, which includes co-working spaces and pet friendly floors,’ she pointed out.
‘For families looking to rent, there is now more choice on the market as some landlords would rather let to families than sharers due to the new HMO licensing rules. Some of these properties have recently been refurbished in order to attract professional families instead of sharers,’ she added.
Whilst demand is high across London, this is largely for well-presented properties. ‘It is important to note that it’s the pristine properties and those in modern developments with an array of facilities which are currently letting well. Overall, there is currently more choice for tenants, so they won’t opt for something that’s deemed tired and over priced,’ Morton concluded.