Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2023

Rental Market Dynamics:  A National & Regional Overview with a Focus on West Hampstead

Rental Market Dynamics:

A National & Regional Overview with a Focus on West Hampstead

  

The UK rental market has once again demonstrated its resilience and dynamic nature.

 

Recent figures state that the average advertised rent for newly listed properties in the UK last month was £1,787 per calendar month (pcm).

 

The average for the UK excluding Greater London is £1,211 pcm (and Greater London on its own is £2,989 pcm).

 

In our region of Inner London, the average rent currently stands at £3,251 pcm (Inner London being N/NW/E/W/SE/SW/EC/WC postcodes).

 

Rents in Inner London have grown tremendously.

 

  • Rents in Inner London one year ago (Oct 22) were £3,184 pcm, a growth of 2.09%
  • Rents in Inner London three years ago (Oct 20) were £2,186 pcm, a growth of 48.69%
  • Rents in Inner London five years ago (Oct 18) were £2,977 pcm, a growth of 9.21%
  • Rents in Inner London seven years ago were (Oct 16) £2,794 pcm, a growth of 16.35%

 

Looking specifically at West Hampstead (NW6), the average rent in Q3 2021 was £1,916 pcm, for Q3 2022, it was £2,350 pcm and for Q3 2023, it has been £2,665 pcm.

 

(Quarter 3 for West Hampstead was used to calculate the average as the sample size is much smaller than regional or national stats).

 

A persistent disparity between supply and demand strongly influences this rise in rents.

 

Demand from prospective tenants is intensifying, but there aren't enough UK rental properties to accommodate them. That is also true for West Hampstead tenants.

 

As a snapshot, one of the major property portals stated the average rental property in the country now receives approximately 25 enquiries from potential tenants. This is a striking contrast from the average of eight enquiries recorded in the pre-pandemic era.

 

Furthermore, the number of tenants looking to move within Britain has surged by just over 40% since 2019. On the other side of the coin…

 

The average number of UK rental properties coming on the market in the five years before the pandemic was 117,510 per month. In the last two years, it has been 99,747 properties per month, a drop of 15%.

 

Talking to agents in West Hampstead, they are witnessing large numbers of eager tenants attending viewings as soon as a property is listed. Such data is echoed by estate and letting agents I know nationwide, many of whom highlight the wide gap between soaring demand and the limited supply of rental stock.

 

Encouragingly, even though the overall average of properties coming onto the market for rent for the last two years is 15% down (as mentioned above), that statistic does mask the fact that 2023 is very different to 2022’s available rental properties. The number of new properties being introduced to the rental market in the last ten months (Jan to mid-Oct 2023) is 6.9% higher year-on-year than the same time from the year before (i.e., Jan to mid Oct 2022).

 

While the continual surge in rental prices and the mismatch between available properties and tenants may make the market challenging for many to navigate, signals suggest an easing of this pressure.

 

With new rental listings at higher levels, a sustained balance between supply and demand may decelerate the annual growth of West Hampstead rental prices.

 

For West Hampstead tenants in this tight market, being proactive is crucial. Speed is of the essence when arranging viewings, especially amidst other commitments. Immediate property alerts on the portals and also cultivating strong face-to-face relationships with local letting agents can offer a competitive edge. Tenants must be clear about their property requirements; from budget constraints and intended stay duration. Flexibility, especially concerning the move-in date, can make an application stand out. Finally, having one’s finances and documentation ready can expedite the tenancy application process.

 

The evolving rental landscape is also prompting many to reconsider traditional preferences. Expanding search horizons beyond typical hotspots in West Hampstead might increase the probability of securing a property and introduce tenants to more cost-effective options.

 

For West Hampstead landlords, these national figures and regional and area-specific statistics provide a comprehensive overview. The underlying message is clear: despite the increase in rental properties, the rents continue to rise, painting a promising picture for landlords who continue to provide much needed homes for West Hampstead tenants.

 

As West Hampstead’s trusted property consultant, we remain committed to keeping you informed and guiding you through these dynamic market shifts.


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