As Winkworth launches its latest Property Exchange podcast, All Change in the Central London lettings market, Dominic Agace, Chief Executive of Winkworth, said: “Demand for lettings was up 43 per cent in prime London in the first quarter, against nine per cent in country markets. With rents having decreased by up to 30 per cent in some areas, they are now five per cent ahead of pre-pandemic levels. Rents are set to continue to rise due to a shortage of supply caused by landlords selling up after the pandemic and the increased taxation and regulation on the sector.”
Winkworth’s Notting Hill office reports that 40 per cent of those looking to rent are returners to London from the country and overseas. They are also seeing increased demand for pied a terres for people dividing their week and staying in town for work on *Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and from families with children in university looking for a London base.
Harriet Darlow, lettings manager at Winkworth West End, told the podcast they are seeing a big increase of people returning to central London. She said: “Clients are looking for a 12 month tenancy as quickly as possible to get back into city life. Now the large corporates are re-opened, we have a huge influx of applicants looking to rent as quickly as possible. Rents are back on the up, anything from a one bed flat at £500 a week to a £3,000 a week penthouse overlooking the river, with most of the high end stock going to corporate clients.”
She added: “The hottest place around at the moment is around Tottenham Court Road tube station and close to Crossrail. There are a lot of newbuilds, along with the amazing Centre Point apartments. It really is a hub where you are able to walk to Covent Garden and Fitzrovia, with everything on your doorstep. Being able to walk to work has become a thing that people look for now when they’re renting. At the super luxury end, The Corinthia Residences on Whitehall are very special, with access to the Corinthia Hotel and incredible service and amenities and views across the river.”
Max Chaudry, of Winkworth’s Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Belgravia office, received more than 100 enquiries for a mid-priced property for sharers. He said: “We are seeing tenancy renewals at considerable increases, even higher rates than before covid. Tenants are mainly accepting the increases as there is such a lack of stock.”