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Prime London rents fall further as short lets make supply glut worse

There’s more bad news for landlords and investors looking at prime London properties according to a market snapshot from Knight Frank.

It says in prime central London, average rents declined 9.1 per cent in the year to late October, compared to 7.6 per cent in prime outer London.

Supply is up due to the addition of short-term lettings properties coming to the market.


In addition, more owners have decided to let rather than sell due to uncertainty surrounding the trajectory of prices as Covid-19 hits the economy. However, this trend has been less marked in more suburban areas with outdoor space, where prices have been more robust.

“If you exclude south-west London, supply levels are currently 20 per cent above where we would normally expect them to be at this time of year. That has come down from a figure of around 40 per cent earlier this year. Rents are still falling and the properties that are letting are where the price has been reduced” explains Gary Hall, head of lettings at Knight Frank.


The trends have been exacerbated by a reduction in the numbers of international students and tourists - the latter has prompted many owners of Airbnb and other short-let investment properties to switch their letting over to the longer term rental market.

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  • Ruan Gildchirst

    WFH has changed everything, there has been a mass exodus from cities

    Plus all the short term let’s and serviced accommodation coming onto the long term rental markets

    LLs are desperately trying to find tenants but there are not many tenants left who still have jobs and good credit histories

  • Ruan Gildchirst

    Rents and property are still very much overpriced, with many people paying mortgages and rents that they can no longer afford while numerous properties stand vacant. The solution, of course, is to cut your losses and stop paying. But then you might soon have to relocate. That is OK, because, as I mentioned, there is no shortage of vacant properties around. Finding a good place to live will become less and less of a problem as people stop paying their rents and mortgages and get foreclosed or evicted, because the number of vacant properties will only increase. The best course of action is to become a property caretaker, legitimately occupying a vacant property rent-free, and keeping an eye on things for the owner. What if you can't find a position as a property caretaker? Well, then you might have to become a squatter, maintain a list of other vacant properties that you can go to next, and keep your camping gear handy just in case. If you do get tossed out, chances are, the people who tossed you out will then think about hiring a property caretaker, to keep the squatters out. And what do you do if you become property caretaker? Well, you take care of the property, but you also look out for all the squatters, because they are the reason you have a legitimate place to live. A squatter in hand is worth three absentee landlords in the bush. The absentee landlord might eventually cut his losses and go away, but your squatter friends will remain as your neighbors. Having some neighbors is so much better than living in a ghost town.

  • icon

    The glut is caused by LL's letting their property to so called Corporate lets taking soft option due to regulations making their business to difficult to run. Those Companies or Rent 2 Rent call them what you like same difference making a mug of us, they then let by the room often short let making a killing charging premium prices, that suits many that don't want to be tied to longer Contracts, like to be able to move without too many restrictions but LL can't do this themselves everyone applying the pressure on him for longer Contracts. Those are all Graduates rubbing shoulders with the Councils Graduates who will be making special laws where by different rules for them I know already..

  • Fredy Jones

    Hi, everyone 

    we we are in desperate trouble. We rent a flat in London for several years never been a day late with the rent, we were both working full time, and have kids in school.

    my full time job has gone caput and my partners self employed business also as not allowed to work during all these lockdowns and we didn’t get any help from government as we didn’t qualify 

    we did apply for UC and got an advanced payment but it’s not enough to live on

    we haven’t been able to pay rent last few months and am worried that when it gets to six months arrears we will get the 4 weeks notice

    i get the impression there are many other people losing their income and in similar situations to us

    • 07 November 2020 07:30 AM

    Move to somewhere cheaper.

    Why do you believe you should be able stay where you have been!!?

    Cut your coat according to your cloth.
    It is just TOUGH if changed economic circumstances have impacted on you.
    It's called life.
    Suck it up!


    You have children then it is the local councils responsibility to house you, I'm surprised that your landlord hasn't already issued you with eviction notices, all he / she has to do is date them 6 months forward from now. Also as you have children U C should be more than enough to live on and pay at least some of your rent.

    • 07 November 2020 14:12 PM

    Seems you are screwed.

    Do you not have any savings, which any sensible people would have if they are renting?

    Seems You need to find somewhere else that costs less and can be paid for through the UC system.

    Go to your local housing authority and ask them. But that will likely be a total nightmare.

    Go back to mum and dad and ponce off them.

    Find some mates who will put you and kids up on the sofa and bunk beds. - Good luck on that one too!

    It appears that fecklessness with money has finally hit home. You will need to be much more frugal when and if you get through this.

    Think what you have done to your kids too.

    If I was your landlord, I would be preparing to evict you at the earleiest orrportunity and I would chase you for the rental owed via the courts and with CCJ's.

    Remember that will probably come your way too.

    Landlords are not a charity as it is a business. And a business that does not get paid usually sues to get paid.
    And it seems that will be coming your way too in a number of months time.

    Fecklessness will bring grief to many in time, and that appears to include you.

    Think harder next time and stop going to Starbucks, Wetherspoons, Bingo, The Pub, give up booze and fags and I bet you will find UC will be enough.

    Afraid I have little sympathy for your situation.

    Live and learn, but you seem not to have learnt.


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