Prime London boroughs have seen huge reductions in available rental stock as pandemic uncertainty subsidies for renters.
In the final quarter of 2021, London rental stock had fallen to its lowest level since the end of 2019, just before the pandemic hit, according to data from central London estate agency, Bective.
It comes as renters have flocked back to the city as offices have reopened and companies have embarked on recruitment drives since the easing of Covid measures last summer.
Just 32,120 rental properties were listed to let in the final quarter of 2021, Bective said. This was down 69 per cent on the previous year and 32 per cent lower than the final quarter of 2019.
Areas to be snapped up by renters include Kensington and Chelsea, where the level of rental stock available in the current market has halved compared to the final quarter of 2019.
Elsewhere, the City of London has seen a -47 per cent reduction, followed by Camden (-44 per cent) and Westminster (-42 per cent).
When looking at year on year change, Islington has seen the largest drop in properties available to rent, with 80 per cent fewer available compared to the end of 2020.
The fresh numbers are welcome news for the capital’s rental market, which has faced “one of the toughest times in living memory” as the pandemic saw renters flee the capital, Bective’s head of lettings and property management, Tom Dainty, said.
He added: “The good news is that this abundance of stock has since subsided and not only are we in a far better place than a year ago, but we’ve also seen the level of available stock fall below pre-Covid market conditions.
“While this has been driven by the capital’s prime boroughs, it’s a trend that is predominant across every London borough and this bodes very well for the year ahead despite the ongoing uncertainty caused by Omicron and yet another stint of advice to work from home where possible.”