London rents have started to fall again - just as every other region of Britain is showing significant annual increases.
Figures for March from the Connells-owned Hamptons lettings agency show rents in the capital falling 2.1 per cent annually; this is the second month in a row that rents have fallen after turning positive between October last year and January 2021.
Once again, the fall has been led by Inner London where rents dropped 17.1 per cent, the 13th consecutive month that rents have decreased. Meanwhile in Outer London, rents were 2.6 per cent higher than at the same time last year, with tenants in Zones 3 to 6 viewing 48 per cent more homes than in March 2020.
“Despite the gradual easing of lockdown, the London vs rest of the country rental growth divide remains entrenched” notes Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons.
“Outside the capital, would-be tenants are scrabbling over stock before it hits the portals, while in Central London landlords are chasing tenants just as relentlessly. There are however signs of a return to Zone 1, with viewings up 64 per cent year-on-year in March. But record high stock levels mean rents are unlikely to start recovering to pre-pandemic levels until later in the year.”
The scale of the London-rest of Britain divide is shown by Hamptons’ data showing the average rent on a newly let home in March stood 4.4 per cent higher across Britain - but if London is excluded, that figure booms to 6.8 per cent annually.
This is the third consecutive month that annual rents for Britain - excluding London - showed a rise of 5.0 per cent or more.
And apart from London, last month every English region recorded rental growth of at least 4.0 per cent.