London residential rental market to remain active in coming months, says Aston Chase

City of London

The rental market in London has remained buoyant since the coronavirus outbreak and will continue to be active in the coming months, according to estate agent Aston Chase. 

Over the past weeks, Aston Chase have seen continuous activity in St John’s Wood, Hampstead, Little Venice and Queen’s Park via virtual viewing platforms and online marketing and predict this will continue.

Since stricter measures were introduced by the Government on 23 of March 2020, Aston Chase has received 89 new enquiries on rental properties which is significantly higher in comparison to the same period of time in 2019. The firm has also received a high number of tenancy extension enquiries. These increases owe to people having more time to browse properties online as they work from home, short term and long-term tenancies coming to an end meaning people are unable to move as well as overseas tenants not wanting to, or being unable to, return to their homes abroad resulting in them renting in London.
 
Aston Chase notes that the market will shift in the coming weeks and months. Casual renters who are looking to upsize or upgrade will become inactive in the market, people who will lose jobs due to the virus may move out of London and there will be fewer international relocations. This will create a supply in the market. However, the market will be balanced by an increase in domestic based tenants who want to delay buying or now cannot buy due to the economic impact of Covid-19 and distressed sellers who can now not find anywhere to purchase.
 
Aston Chase reveal that furnished properties are proving to be more popular than unfurnished as people are concerned about the logistics of moving furniture and unlike the majority of second-hand sales properties, rental properties are often vacant and can therefore be marketed and moved into during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Aston Chase have produced a number of virtual tours. The tours allow customers to virtually view properties at Melrose Apartments in Swiss Cottage available for GBP695 per week, Cumberland Terrace in Regent’s Park for GBP2,495 per week, Elsworthy Road for GBP1,750 per week and a house on Grove End Road in St John’s Wood for GBP7,250 per week.
 
In the last month, Aston Chase have completed a number of rental deals remotely including an apartment in the Queens Park Place development in Queens Park and a 3,000 sq ft five-bedroom home on Howley Place in Little Venice. The house, which had an asking price of GBP2,950 per week has been successfully let for three years. Aston Chase also secured a three-year tenancy on a home in Priory Road in West Hampstead. The home, which achieved over the asking price of GBP1,615 per week, has been rented by a couple who work in the health care profession and therefore needed a quick deal for a long-term let due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
 
The lettings market has remained buoyant with a number of deals under offer via remote negotiations including a GBP3,500 per week home in West Hampstead, a GBP4,000 per week house on Marlborough Place and GBP2,750 per week house in Clifton Hill.
 
Ben Sloane, Lettings Director at Aston Chase, says: “In the past weeks there has been a consistent level of rental traction. Our enquiry levels have been increasing with both digital marketing and virtual tours enabling us to continue to promote and let properties. As the Capital and the world start to return to normality in the coming weeks and months there will be a shift in the rental market. The demographic of renters will change and we will certainly see fewer international relocations, however, things will remain stable as would-be buyers and distressed sellers balance the market.”