By Allan Fuller
Despite this year starting in the depths of our third lockdown, we achieved 21 new lets agreed, a 25% increase from 2020. In fact, the whole Q1 saw an uplift of new lettings. The curiosity for the first few months was that stock levels were high and rents being achieved tended to be slightly lower. Good for tenants and showing that it is supply and demand that creates value of property just like any commodity.
In spring, our trend of more lettings being agreed continued, generally an increase of 75% compared to last year, stock levels were still high and demand very strong, but rents were in some cases between 10-15% lower year on year.
Our summer continued to be busy and any properties benefitting from outside space were being snapped up, tenants looking who had acquired pets being among the most frequent requests. Always tricky in flats, but the proposed new legislation allowing tenants to have a pet is still promised which will be a revolution from the norm where pets had been banned. We were also beginning to see more people returning to London as full-time home-working was reducing.
Come the autumn, demand was really ramping up and from a time when supply was plentiful, we began to see shortages which were repeated across London. Again, as supply and demand was affecting rents, now it was forcing rents up. In fact, prices dramatically increased and we found that as soon as a property was listed, we had call after call and email after email, from applicants wanting to view. Block viewings were set up, as this proved to be the best way to proceed for our landlords and for the first time in years we were mirroring our sales colleagues in going to best and final bids for a property, often leading to over-the-asking prices being achieved which was fantastic news for the landlords that had been seeing rents dramatically lower at the first part of the year.
It looks as if demand will remain strong in the new year, so we are always here to welcome new landlords looking to let their properties. If you do have a property coming up for letting, we may well be able to pleasantly surprise you with what rent we could achieve.