London renters forking out ‘unseasonable’ £570 a week as supply of homes dwindles
London rent prices have shown no sign of cooling in February, with renters in the capital now forking out up to £570 per week on affordable accommodation costs.
According to figures by letting agent Foxtons, a limited pool of supply and challenging economic outlook has forced rent prices up five per cent in the capital and up 23 per cent year-on-year this February.
The continued demand for letting in London increased six per cent, with 20 prospective renters now forced to compete for one property.
The data showed that so far this year, South and West London have proved to be more popular compared to last year, with applicant registrations up 16 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
The best chance for desperate rent-hunters is in the Central London boroughs of Westminster and Tower Hamlets which had the highest concentration of new lettings instructions coming to market.
Will it get better or worse?
“February’s unseasonable rise in average rent price, higher than last year’s record-breaking peaks at over £570 per week, is a strong indicator of how intense the imbalance is between supply and demand in the London lettings market,” Gareth Atkins, managing director of Lettings, said.
It comes as earlier this month, Foxtons chief executive Guy Gittins warned that the lack of demand in London is so “dramatic” that people will be forced out of the capital.
“We absolutely don’t welcome this but people are going to have to move,” the chief said.
The news sparked particular concern for London businesses which feared that it could loose out on young talent who moved to capital in search of career opportunities.
Speaking at the time, Jonathan Seager, policy delivery director at BusinessLDN, told City A.M that its “vital” the capital can deliver a mix of homes across tenures and price points so that housing becomes more affordable to all Londoners.
This comes after ONS figures released this morning showed a slowdown in UK house prices, but rents are still soaring to their highest in seven years.
Private rent paid by tenants in the UK rose 4.7 per cent in the 12 months to February 2023, up from 4.4 per cent in the 12 months to January 2023.