“A continued surge of interest in the Home Counties lettings market”

Knight Frank has seen an 11% increase in corporate relocation enquiries in the prime Home Counties – and a massive rise in new tenant applications as renting becomes “the go-to approach for families moving out of London”

It sounds like the lettings market in the prime Home Counties is stepping up – with more tenancies being agreed, more viewings taking place, and significantly more prospective tenants registering their interest.

Rental values, however, are proving a touch more patchy.

Knight Frank reports that, overall, rents in the prime Home Counties increased by 1.2% in Q3 – but are still 2.6% lower than they were 12 months ago.

It’s a two-tier market these days, with the lower-value segment dramatically out-performing more high-price properties. Quarterly rental growth for one- and two-bedroom flats, for example, came in at 4.8% and 4.5% respectively. Larger four- and five-bed properties saw much lower rental inflation between July and September, growing by just 1.7% and 2.5% respectively.

Flats and smaller family houses in the sub-£4,000 per month rental market accounted for 68% of activity over the course of the quarter.

The number of tenancies agreed over the course of Q3 was, however, 24% higher than during the same period last year, while the number of new applicants registering their interest in renting in the region with Knight Frank branches escalated by nearly 50%.

Interestingly, the firm has seen a notable increase in corporate lets. Enquiries from relocation agents is 11% up so far in 2017, compared with the same period in 2016.

Jemma Scott, Partner at Knight Frank: “We have seen a continued surge of interest in the Home Counties lettings market, demonstrated by the remarkable rise in demand compared to last year. Renting is now the go-to approach for families moving out of London as it gives them the ability to make sure they are settled before committing to the considerable costs associated with buying a property. That being said, the high volume of one and two bedroom flats that are being snapped up shows that younger couples and smaller families are also being attracted by the lifestyle that the Home Counties has to offer.”