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Some London rents down near 30% while other regions prosper

Renters are quitting London and heading for the regions in search of more space and bigger homes and gardens.

That’s the claim of property search engine Home, which has released an in-depth analysis of the rental market, detailing supply changes, time on market and rent changes.

The study found a dramatic increase of 68 per cent in the monthly supply of homes to rent in London compared to a year ago, as tenants fail to renew tenancies. 


Moreover, the Typical Time on Market for London rental properties - 29 days - is the highest of all regions, as landlords struggle to find tenants keen on city living.

Asking rents have been slashed across London due to a lack of demand in the wake of the first Covid lockdown. 

In the worst-hit boroughs, landlords have dropped their rents by more than double the London-wide average fall in rental value. So over the last year rents have fallen in the City of London by 28.8 per cent, in Hammersmith and Fulham by 23.5 per cent, and in Kensington and Chelsea by 22.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, in lower-density suburbs of the capital, rents are rising. In Bexley, Havering and Croydon rents are up 4.2 per cent, 4.6 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.

Greater London is the only English region to see rents fall over the last year, says Home, and to see the Typical Time on Market figure rise. It takes on average four more days to find a tenant in London than 12 months ago.

The South West is among key destinations for renters in the capital to move to in search of space and greenery, the figures indicate.

Rents in the South West have rocketed 8.3 per cent over the year to their current average of £1,065. Most of this rise - 7.9 per cent - came in the last six months, amid the pandemic. In addition, landlords in the South West are finding tenants far quicker than last year. The Typical Time on Market is just 13 days, four days fewer than last year’s average.

Central to the migration is the desire for more affordable accommodation, more space and ideally a garden, says Home. 

East Anglia is another popular destination, rental and Typical Time on Market figures suggest. 

Rents in the region have risen 6.3 per cent over the last six months and by 7.0 per cent over the year to £1,135. Meanwhile, the Typical Time on Market figure is 19 days which is four days fewer than in November last year.

Similar trends present themselves elsewhere in England, with competition for the limited numbers of available lettings stock pushing up rents: by 9.5 per cent in the East Midlands; 6.7 per cent in the North East; 11.0 per cent in the North West; 14.7 per cent in the West Midlands; and 8.0 per cent in Yorkshire and Humber over the last 12 months. 

However, less demand in the relatively expensive South East has meant that rents have risen only 1.4 per cent.

Wales has seen the largest increase in rents over the last year, up by a dramatic 22.3 per cent. The average rent in the principality is now £894 and the Typical Time on Market figure is 15 days, three days fewer than last year.

In Scotland, the average rent is £857, an increase of 15.8 per cent year-on-year. The Typical Time on Market has been slashed by four days to 20 over the last year.



“While homeworking is not an option for all, this lifestyle change is now a key trend that is reshaping rental demand. Since the Greater London rental market represents nearly half of the UK lettings market, any refocusing of demand towards the regions will have a dramatic effect on the balance of supply and demand” explains Home’s director Doug Shephard.

“This is why we are witnessing dramatic rent hikes in most English regions, Scotland and Wales. In fact, Welsh rents (and home prices for that matter) are rising to such an extent that locals fear of being priced out by newcomers. Wales will certainly not be alone in feeling the knock-on effect of the exodus from the UK’s largest cities.” 

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  • Ruan Gildchirst

    increase of 68 per cent in the monthly supply of homes to rent in London compared to a year ago,!,!!

  • Mark Wilson

    Yup, I called the London decline 6 months ago. Rents down a third volume down 50%, letting agents' revenue down 65% to 70%. Its a mess!


    Look on the bright side Mark. Sscotland's rents are up 15.8%. That will mean around £40,000 extra profit on my £4 million portfolio - without any more effort or investment from me.

    English landlords should take comfort in how loony leftie "anti landlord" legislation, intended to address or solve non-existent problems, actually works to the landlord's benefit as market forces prevail.Unfortunately decent tenants are those adversely affected the most as the rogue rent dodgers get protected.

    Rent controls if implemented, would be as effective as energy price caps have been.

    The only way to help the vast majority of decent tenants is to allow landlords to meet market needs on level playing fields.

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    No you didnt you generalised that it was all of the UK & we corrected you as this article now confirms

    Mark Wilson

    check back!

    Mark Wilson

    What I did say is that there could be a ripple effect, starting in London.


    Ripple effect will not affect the rental market maybe the sales market.
    I'm prepared to bet money that rents outside the south east will remain at least constant or higher over next two years. Name an amount to suit you.
    If you accept when I win I will donate my winnings to charity (not Shelter)

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  • Matthew Payne

    This changes in rent are a rebalancing between London where they had arguably become too high to pay for the convenient commute that is no longer such a priority, and the shires and beyond where better value for money was to be had when WFH is now the thing. London will come down as they have been, the rest will increase as they have been, and this pendulum action will slowly come to halt at some point soon.

    There is no wider market dynamic that is forcing rents down elsewhere and I dont see any ripple going further than Zone 6. Rents in the Home Counties have gone up significantly since March.
    Equally, this change may well reverse itself to some extent in years to come, as we all forget about CV19, people get back to going to the office and London finds it place once more.


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