Letting agents in London say there's more interest from prospective tenants now the vaccine and Coronavirus roadmap suggest something like normality in the coming months.
Rightmove has produced new data showing portal enquiries for Zones 1 and 2 rising significantly, with areas like Nine Elms and Battersea the most popular.
Lucy Pendleton, co-founder at James Pendleton in south-west London, says: “We’ve undoubtedly seen renewed interest from renters looking to move to places across Nine Elms and Battersea. This part of London is a great place to live and there are lots of little pockets of communities that cater for everybody’s taste. I
“There were lots of people who thought that London would turn into a ghost town over lockdown, and yes, some people have moved further afield but that migration happens every year.
“It’s motivated by a change in lifestyle and predominantly because of growing families wanting to be near certain schools. However, in terms of lettings revenue, we’ve now surpassed where we were at this stage in 2019 and 2020 – so people still do want to live in the city. I’m sure that working patterns will continue to evolve, as they have done over the past year or so, and that may mean more home working than before, but once pubs and bars and the rest of that industry reopens, I expect we’ll continue to see interest increase even further.”
Glynis Frew, chief executive of Hunters, adds: “Despite short term uncertainty and some people moving out of London temporarily, the fact is that most young professionals want to be amongst the buzz of the city - it’s the reason they moved here in the first place.
“With the vaccine providing light at the end of the tunnel now, many will be planning their next move as life starts to return to normal and their places of work start to open up again.
“The Battersea Power Station transformation is almost complete and with the Northern Line extension set to finally open this year, it is little surprise that Nine Elms and Battersea are hot prospects, particularly given their proximity to the Thames and open green spaces.”
Rightmove has analysed over 23 million London searches, and says searches for rental homes in areas of Zones 1 and 2 have jumped significantly.
Nine Elms in Wandsworth has seen the biggest annual rise in rental searches in the capital, up 126 per cent, with average asking rents in the area now at £2,802 per calendar month, down 15 per cent compared to a year ago. Next up is another Wandsworth location – Battersea – which has also seen rental searches more than double over the past 12 months (up 111 per cent), followed by Clapham Common (up 109 per cent).
All of Rightmove’s top 10 latest rental hotspots are within Zones 1 and 2 - a big contrast to last August when renters searching in the capital were home-hunting in the outer zones.
Chessington topped the list in August, and all but two of the top 10 hotspots were located in Zone 3 and beyond as Rightmove’s data last summer reflected a shift in people wanting to move to areas with quieter transport links as office-based working and rail commutes became less frequent. However, Rightmove insists the tide appears to be turning.
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