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Lockdown rental trends in reverse, says lettings agency

Rental price growth in London’s commuter belt cities and towns have outperformed villages and rural areas over the past year, says Savills.

The agency says that with more people returning to cities, prime London rental values experienced their strongest quarterly growth since June 2010 – and up +6.6 per cent on the year. 

This in part was led by the recovery of London’s flat market – which saw growth reach 4.1 per cent in Q4 2021 versus 2.2 per cent for London houses.


“The last three months of 2021 have been characterised by rental recovery in urban areas, as tenants who favoured more rural locations during the pandemic headed back to towns and cities in response to the easing of Coronavirus measures” says Jessica Tomlinson, research analyst at Savills.

“This was further boosted by the return of international students and corporate relocators, all focused on proximity to places of study, work and transport links.

“While the outlook for the start of 2022 is looking increasingly unpredictable as a result of renewed Covid-19 uncertainty, and the potential for new restrictions, our latest data shows just how quickly urban markets can bounce back as lockdown measures are eased and international travel opens up.  We’d therefore expect any slowdown to be short-lived.” 

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