Tenants move back to London from Home Counties

Tenants are returning from outside the capital and it’s pushing London rents up at a record pace.  

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Lettings agency Hamptons is making this suggestion and states that over the last year, rents in London have risen by 12.3 per cent, which is the fastest rate since the firm’s market index began in 2013.  

Rental growth in the capital has outpaced the British average for the second month in a row, reversing 26 consecutive months of London rents lagging behind the rest of the country.

Numbers of the rise:

  • Almost a third of all new tenancies in the capital have been secured by someone moving from outside of London, so far in 2022.
  • Just 12 per cent of London tenants came from outside the capital in 2020 – when many renters left the city to move in with parents or rent in a more affordable area.  
  • It’s the highest figure in a decade and compares with a five-year pre-Covid average of 23 per cent.  
  • 65 per cent of movers this year have made inner London their home – an increase from a more normal 50/50 Inner/Outer London split.
  • According to Hamptons, 55 per cent of tenants who moved into the capital this year came from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey. Before covid, those moving into London from the home counties was 40 per cent.  

Distances moved: 

  • The average tenant coming to the capital moved 36 miles this year
  • down from 45 miles in 2019 
  • and 50 miles a decade ago.  

The agency suggests that fewer tenants moving from large northern cities is partly behind the decline.

Head of Research at Hamptons, Aneisha Beveridge, said:

With Covid being pushed further to the back of people’s minds, life in the capital is slowly returning to its new normal.  

Tenants are returning to the bright lights of the city, and this is driving rental growth to record highs.

Culture of the capital a big draw: 

Beveridge added that the rise of remote working means that fewer tenants are moving to the capital for work. 

The “footloose nature of many jobs today” means that culture and lifestyle rather than employment are becoming London’s biggest draw.

The current pace of London rental growth is predominantly down to the capital playing catch up with the rest of the country.  

“Today, the average rent in London stands 103 per cent above the average outside the capital.  While this gap is up from 96 per cent a year ago, it remains below the 120 to 130 per cent pre-Covid premium which has been eroded by strong rental growth outside the capital in recent years.  

“But the current pace of rental growth in London is likely to push the premium closer to its pre-Covid level within two years.”

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