It’s been over 100 days since Brexit was announced and fallout from the result has had a big influence on the local rentals market. As we move deeper into autumn here’s how I see the current state of the west London lettings market.
Busy summer for the lettings market now slowing down
In some respects the change in the London rental market has mirrored the change in the weather. We had an incredibly busy summer here in Notting Hill and Kensington, which continued through September. However in the last few weeks we have seen a sudden slowdown in activity.
Post-Brexit glut of rental property
Following Brexit there was a flood of property onto the market. This glut saw our stock levels increase by 30%, which in turn resulted in a 10% fall in rents being achieved.
A great many of our applicants over the summer have been tenants who have been moving quite locally to take advantage of the falling rents. Then of course there was the large influx of wealthy foreign students arriving for the start of their new academic year.
Demand from overseas students and the film industry
Our Kensington Office attracts students attending Imperial College and this year we have seen a rise in enquiries from China. We expect this trend to continue as wealthy Asians take advantage of a weak pound.
It is no great surprise that the market has slowed up in October; it does the same every year for a month or so – but it will pick up again as people try and get themselves settled in before the Christmas holidays.
With the British Film Industry booming and more top US directors working here in the UK, our Notting Hill team continues to handle a lot of rentals for the studios who are in the throes of producing some soon to be big box office movies. The teams required for these films can be large and many of them need a London base for several months up to a year during production.
Continuing Brexit uncertainty
As the cloud of uncertainty around the timetable and terms of Brexit continues, many prospective London buyers are delaying making big decisions. This means many in the capital will continue to rent, keeping demand for local rental property stable.
I don’t believe our landlords should have cause for concern as I think demand will continue to meet supply over the coming months. The post-Brexit glut of property has passed and we now have more sensible stock levels.