The number of properties available for let in prime central parts of the capital has consistently trended down from the peak of available stock in July 2021 according to the investment consultancy London Central Portfolio.
It says that due to increased demand from tenants returning to central London for both work and study, there are about 75 per cent fewer flats available now than in March 2021.
As to be expected given the stock shortage, the time taken to let a vacant property has reduced significantly in Q1 2022. The average number of days a property stood vacant was 24.8 days, below the pre-pandemic average of 27.3 days, largely due to a lack of new stock and an increase in demand.
Agreed rents on new tenancies have continued to improve due to shortage of stock and greater competition as students and professionals return to London, says LCP.
Market conditions are now decidedly more favourable to landlords and have resulted in agreed rents on re-lets rising by 13.89 per cent in Q1 2022.
Andrew Weir, chief executive of London Central Portfolio, says: “The markedly improved performance of the prime London lettings market has been welcomed by our landlords with rent increases on re-lets in LCP's managed portfolio for Q1 2022.
“As tenants return to London, increased demand and lack of new stock has resulted in void periods reaching below pre-pandemic levels.
”The recovery of the rental market has led to a shift in tenant profiles as older tenants return to the office and outcompete young professionals and students. The summer of 2022 could well see an acceleration of existing trends with limited stock availability and increased competition as international travel restrictions continue to ease.
“Our report illustrates a strong start to 2022 as London continues to be viewed as an employment hub and a diverse cultural centre.”