Wednesday 12 May 2021 12:01 am

London rents fall to most affordable level in a decade

London rents have fallen to their most affordable level in a decade due to a drop off in demand during the pandemic. 

While demand has ticked up since lockdown restrictions have lifted – by seven per cent in inner London – affordability is running at a ten-year high.

Rental prices in London are down 9.4 per cent, which is in part fuelling the bounce back in demand. 

Average rents in the City of London, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster are at their lowest level since 2011.

The average price of a rental property in Westminster is currently running at £2,259 per month, down from £2,616 a month in February last year, according to research by Zoopla.

In comparison, rents outside of London are up three per cent on the year – the sharpest rate of growth in four and a half years – and are rising fastest  in the North East and the South West.

The performance is being driven by a 59 per cent uptick in demand for rental properties outside the capital in the 28 days to the end of April, compared with normal market levels between 2017 and 2019.

Zoopla head of research Grainne Gilmore said: “Demand will continue to rise in city centres as offices start to re-open and this, coupled with increased affordability levels in many cases, will start to counter the negative pressure on rents seen over the last 12 months.

“In London, where rents are down 9.4 per cent on the year, a modest reversal in rental declines has begun, but it will be a slow build back to pre-pandemic levels in inner London. 

“The recovery will be uneven and we expect new or recently refurbished properties to attract higher levels of demand in the second half of the year.”