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Political uncertainty leads to sharp rise in ‘super-prime tenancies’ in London

Activity in London’s super prime rental market continues to grow as more people opt to rent rather than buy property in the capital, amid political turmoil.

The number of tenancies agreed above £5,000 per week in London during the first four months of the year hit a record-high of 41, despite it being a traditionally less active time for the rental market.

The number of letting transactions agreed between January and April 2019 compared to an equivalent figure of 26 last year and 34 in 2017.

Tom Smith, Knight Frank’s head of super-prime lettings, commented: “While demand in the super-prime sales market has picked up over recent months, the finely-balanced political backdrop means the lettings market has also had an unseasonably strong start to the year.”

The number of prospective tenants viewing properties above £5,000 per week has also been rising. The figure was 32% higher in the year to April 2019 compared to the previous 12-month period, Knight Frank data shows.

Meanwhile the rolling annual total for super-prime lettings was 145 in April and 146 in March this year, which was the highest figure recorded for six years.

“Renting affords our clients the luxury of flexibility,” said Smith. “The uncertain political situation also explains why we are seeing the re-emergence of super-prime tenancies with ‘option to purchase’ clauses written into the contract, so renters can effectively ‘try before they buy’.”

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