There’s been some interesting goings-on in the Home Counties’ prime rental market.
After months of decline, values in the area ticked upwards by 0.5% between July and September, according to Knight Frank, keeping annual growth in positive territory at 0.5%.
The trends unfolding at the very top of the market are particularly fascinating though…
The number of new super-prime (£15k+ pcm) rental instructions across the Home Counties rocketed by a remarkable 81% in Q3 versus the same period in 2015. Rising numbers of vendors seem to be opting to let out their country seats instead of selling at a big discount, which is boosting the number of agreed tenancies, but in turn keeping a lid on price growth.
“The balance of power remains tipped in favour of tenants”, proclaims Knight Frank, and landlords are advised to be flexible in negotiations or risk long void periods.
The firm’s offices have noted a marked rise in demand among “try-before-you-buy” tenants, put off purchasing by the current levels of stamp duty being charged.
Overall, prospective tenants numbers and viewings were up by 22% and 13% respectively in Q3 (y-o-y), suggesting rental volumes could well rise over the next few months.
Knight Frank’s Jemma Scott: “The latest figures show that Home Counties lettings are equally affected by the global markets as prime central London, which is evidenced in the emerging two-tier market. The 81% year-on-year increase in super prime lettings stock, coupled with an increase of tenant enquiries and rental growth, reflect the desire of clients and tenants alike to take advantage of the lettings market. The steady increase of instructions suggests that clients and tenants are taking a longer term perspective, confident in future prospects and preferring to wait before committing to a purchase. Given the additional cost of stamp duty, it is unsurprising that HNWIs are prepared to rent in the Home Counties, especially if they have relocated for educational or business purposes. As a result, our teams are incredibly busy, and we do not see any reason why it should not continue to grow as prospective tenants continue to seek lifestyle, space and good schools”.