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Insight on the Autumn Lettings Market

By Sophia Wood-Burgess

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Foxtons Business Analytics team have released the latest Lettings Market Report, with insight for landlords on the kind of market we hadn’t seen for a while.

“For the first time since 2019, the London lettings market is seeing regular seasonal trends, including a Q4 decrease in demand. However, demand still outpaces supply, and properties are still being let quickly, so long as they’re listed at the right price. With our expertise and data-driven approach to pricing, we help landlords tap into the larger market – two in every five Foxtons renters choose their new home outside of their initial search area.”

~Sarah Tonkinson, Managing Director of Institutional PRS and Built to Rent, October 2023 Lettings Market Report

In this report, we’ve analysed October’s data to see how the market is progressing. We discovered that the market is shifting the way it did before the pandemic; less demand and greater supply as we head into the winter months.

As Sarah said, letting out a property in this market is down to listing it at the right price. Our Valuers have an in-depth understanding of the local market and use industry-leading technology to ensure your property is priced correctly. They consider:

The benefits of your neighbourhood – this may include key businesses, employment rates, transport links, water and green spaces, regeneration projects, leisure and entertainment, schools and colleges, shops and restaurants, etc.

Local market pressures – our Valuers consider which kind of homes are readily available, which are rare finds, and what prices renters would expect to pay to live here.

What tenants look for in a home here – some areas are best for new-build developments, some areas have lots of terraced Victorian homes to choose from. In neighbourhoods near universities, students may appreciate a home with a study nook, in neighbourhoods with Outstanding Ofsted-rated schools, families might prefer some outdoor space.

How quickly you need it let – whether you’re avoiding a long void period or waiting for a premium offer, we can get you the right price for your timeline.

Where are renters looking?

East London has stepped into the spotlight, which we’ve discussed in our article, What a City worker wants in a home. As our London Report – Autumn Statement revealed, “In the last 18 months, 34% of renters who worked in the City and moved home chose to rent in East London.” This month’s Lettings Market Report can also attest that competition is highest in East London, with an average of 18 prospective renters per each new listing.

How to avoid the winter void

The void period becomes a major concern for landlords in the quieter winter market, so we have a few tips to get your property let out sooner:

1. Choose a proactive agent with a large renter database

Over 50,000 renters register with Foxtons every month. Our structure is unique in that our Negotiators can let property anywhere, rather than being limited to their own patch, so we can market your property to more of our database. In the winter market, where there’s less competition for homes, proactive Negotiators are key to getting a property let.

2. Market for short lets as well as long lets

Who wouldn’t love an extended holiday in London around Christmas? If you have a short let to carry your property through the winter season, you can break the cycle so you’re not looking for your next long-term tenant in the winter.

3. Price realistically

Book a valuation and have a discussion with our Valuers. As we said above, there are a lot of different factors that affect the rent price. We can help find the right price for your property and timeline.

Photo by Foxtons Specialist Photography team

4. Access is key

We ask landlords to get two sets of keys to our local office as quickly as possible after they instruct us, so we can begin viewings right away. We do 22% of our viewings outside regular office hours to accommodate renters, so access is important.

If you have tenants in the flat, it’s best to discuss access with them at the beginning of the search.

Photo by Foxtons Specialist Photography team

5. Warm and tidy

You’ll also want to discuss keeping the flat tidy with current tenants, in order to show the property in its best light. Or, if the flat is vacant, you’ll need to keep it clean and dusted. Some landlords even programme the heating to come on at certain times of day to ensure renters on viewings don’t walk into a cold house.

Photo by Foxtons Specialist Photography team

6. Give your property its best chance

Our in-house photography team captures the right photos, creates floor plans and even shoots video in some cases, to make sure renters can see the flat in its best light. In the chilliest days of winter, when the sun goes down by 16:30, expert photography is even more important, so be sure it's neat and bright, with clutter tucked away and curtains open.

7. Consider each offer

With Foxtons, you can review all the offers you receive on your My Foxtons account. You can also discuss the offers directly with our Negotiators.

8. Choose a longer tenancy

We can discuss with renters if you’re looking for a longer tenancy. It’s good for them, providing security of a great rental for a longer time, and great for you to minimise the risk of looking for a tenant next winter.

Ready to get started? Book a Foxtons Market Appraisal today.

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