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The record-breaking rise in London rent

By Sophia Wood-Burgess

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Rental properties have been in high demand for many months, causing higher competition for every new property listing in London. In April, we saw a big consequence of high demand and an economy in flux.

If you’re a renter looking for a new home, the queue right now is …intimidating, to say the least. Because of the significantly reduced supply of properties on the market, demand is on the rise. Because of demand and economic pressures, we’ve uncovered a massive rise in average rent for our April Lettings Market Report. So, if you're looking for a flat to rent in London, head over to our blog – Moving London: Let’s find you a rental – for some tips on how to navigate this tricky climate.

If you’re a landlord with Foxtons, you might have already heard this news in our April Lettings Market Report. Through research by Foxtons Business Analytics, we’ve discovered a huge increase average rental price this April. Back in November 2021, we were shocked by record-breaking rental prices at £520 per week. However, this April, average rent flew to £524 per week. That is over £100 per week more than the average price in April 2021.

Graph from Foxtons April Lettings Report, showing the highest average rent in over three years.

The key is connection

Foxtons renewals department has seen renters’ response to economic pressures with an unprecedented 29% rise in renewals year-on-year vs 2021. This goes to show how valuable a strong relationship between tenants and landlords can be on both sides. Move in/move out costs, the void period and marketing a property make it expensive for landlords to have tenants frequently leaving, so a strong relationship and a quality rental will help landlords “avoid the void.” At the same time, this relationship can protect good, reliable tenants from the pressures of a changing economy.

When we talk about fostering a relationship, Build to Rent springs to mind. BTR developments are designed for renters, with quality amenities, dedicated support staff and communal events to harness a positive relationship. The reasoning behind this is that happy, supported tenants will rent long-term.

The idea for Build to Rent may be having an influence on private landlords professionalising their offering as well. While private landlords probably won’t include amenities like a resident’s gym and cinema, they can improve communication and repairs, offer things like pet-friendly rentals and hire professional property management to keep their tenancy running smoothly.

Where are we headed?

It’s always difficult to predict what happens next in the London rental market, but increasing rent provides strong motivation for more renters to extend their leases, and for applicants to favour more professionalised lettings and expand their searches further out of central London, focusing on places with excellent transport links (more on that in our Elizabeth line article) to manage their commutes.

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