The number of tenants that moved home in London in December was double that of December 2019, according to Chestertons’ latest figures, as it announced its busiest December on record.
With 88% more rental properties available compared to 2019 and with prices substantially lower in many areas, Chestertons noted an unusual surge in December as tenants rushed to take advantage of the market conditions and secure a deal before Christmas and the anticipated lockdown. Activity was further boosted by a promotion it ran, where many landlords offered a rent-free periods on their property in December. It received 69% more enquiries from tenants, conducted 61% more viewings and processed 63% more offers than December 2019.
As a result of the large number of available rental properties on the market – many of which were previously let on short term contracts via platforms such as Airbnb Rental - prices remain under pressure and around 20% of landlords decided to drop their asking price. Prices for flats with no outside space have been hit especially hard whereas larger family houses have generally maintained their rental values.
Richard Davies, Chestertons’ Head of Lettings, comments: “December is usually the quietest month of the year for the rental market as very few people want to view properties and move, however, with less Christmas parties and another lockdown on the cards, we had a very busy month and helped a record number of tenants move.”
Looking forward to January, Richard says: “The current lockdown has obviously put the brakes on the market, but once cases get back under control and restrictions ease we expect activity to catch-up pretty quickly and are anticipating a strong spring market.”
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