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Rents to dip next year, warns leading lettings agency

Hamptons International has given a rental market forecast for 2021 - and it doesn’t make for happy reading.

The agency says the rental sector has recovered more slowly from lockdown than the sales market.  

Current tenant numbers are down on last year in eight of the nine English regions, with few signs of any pick-up. And it adds that low income workers, particularly renters, are more likely to have lost their job or had a reduction in their income than homeowners.  


This has led to a dip in rents, particularly in the South and London, the agency notes.

“We expect rents in Great Britain to fall by 1.0 per cent this year, with a similar decline of 1.0 per cent in 2021 due to a rise in the number of job losses which will constrain affordability” according to the forecast.

Rental growth will decelerate more sharply in London than anywhere else due to a combination of factors - reduced corporate demand, fewer international students, and a glut of short-let properties have been converted to long-term lets.

“As a result we expect rents in London to fall 3.0 per cent in 2020 and 2.0 per cent in 2021, before bouncing back to 3.5 per cent growth in 2022 and 4.0 per cent growth in 2023” Hamptons continues.

The subdued forecast for the rental market contrasts with Hamptons’ more upbeat long term forecast for the sales market.

It says sale prices will rise by 2.0 per cent this year but 2021 will see the wider effects of the Coronavirus-induced recession. 

“Assuming a trade deal is agreed with the EU and a vaccine becomes available in the first half of next year, with no major second lockdown, we expect prices in Great Britain to remain flat in 2021” predicts the agency.

Poll: Does this sound right - rents dipping slightly in 2021?


  • Mark Wilson

    I am not sure how you monitor a 1% drop in rental value. If central London is anything to go by the article totally understates.

  • Stephen Chipp

    So basically do what the rest of us are doing - put a finger in the air and have a good guess as to what might happen!!

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    • 28 September 2020 10:35 AM

    I would imagine most of the EU immigrants doing all the low value hospitality jobs will be returning home.
    There will be fewer students.
    Brits will also be returning home from now gone hospitality jobs.

    London in particular will never return to as it once was.
    The proverbial office worker has seen the light and won't be returning anytime soon.
    London LL would be advised to sell up.
    At least any new CGT increase has been shelved for the next 6 months.
    Get out now while the going is good and invest in towns 45mins train journey from Central London.

    London is a busted flush.

    Demand will be reducing unless all of a sudden 3.5 million Hong Kongers descend on Britain.

    Pray God the Communists don't do anything drastic to 'encourage' the Hong Kongers to leave.

    Another Tiananmen Square and all those empty properties in London etc will soon be filled up.

    If not then London will remain a veritable ghost town.

  • icon

    London is surely only a small part of what is happening in the U K and yet whenever an agent like Hamptons or Savills produce an article like this it is supposed to indicate what is happening throughout the south and speaking personally, from the West Sussex perceptive, we are finding that demand is outstripping supply. So come on let’s have some positive reports instead of the doom and gloom, we get enough of that from the BBC and the likes of the Mail.


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