Londoners looking for a new place to rent are struggling against a competitive market as the number of available properties has dropped by 58 per cent.
While there are less properties available on the market for renters compared to August 2020, there has been a 55 per cent boost in the number of tenants searching, according to market analysis by Estate agency Chestertons.
The discrepancy has been partially caused by landlords selling rental properties during the endemic or who have put properties onto the market as short-let contracts instead of long-term agreements.
The agency says that this shortage has been partially caused by landlords having sold rental properties during the pandemic or by putting their properties back on the market for short-let contracts rather than long-term tenancy agreements.
Landlords are less willing to reduce rent compared to last year, with Chesterston’s reporting a 78 per cent decrease in the number of landlords willing to slash costs.
Tenants must move fast to make decisions as well as being prepared to make compromises while landlords look to raise rents back to 2019 levels, the agency said.
“The race to find a rental property in the capital is set to become more competitive, putting landlords firmly in the driving seat of price negotiations,,” Richard Davies, head of lettings, at Chestertons said.
“With demand outstripping supply, rents are now starting to increase and – if limited availability of rental properties continues – it won’t be long before rents return to 2019 levels.”
Areas to experience the biggest jump in rent prices since last August include Kensington & Chelsea, Fulham & Hammersmith, Westminster, Camden, Richmond Upon Thames and Wandsworth.
These areas are popular with people working corporate jobs and international students, who will now be returning to the city for a new university term.
The agency has also seen many people who left the city during the pandemic wishing to return to be closer to their office and to enjoy the city’s post-lockdown opportunities.