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Inner London rents lower than five years ago

Asking rents in two thirds of  London neighbourhoods have taken a hit in the last five years, property portal Rightmove has reported.

Inner London was the most affected with asking rents down 6.5 pr cent on five years ago, said Rightmove after surveying over 900,000 rental properties. By contrast Outer London, rents were 2.0 per cent up on 2016.

The biggest Inner London rent drop was in Finsbury, where asking rents are now 24 per cent down on five years ago, falling from an average of £2,818 per calendar month to £2,147. Even with lower rents, the number of rental properties available in Finsbury is up – by 76 per cent compared to a year ago.

The largest five-year rent rise in London was in Hammersmith, where asking rents are now 12 per cent higher than five years ago (although they are down 19 per cent since this time last year).

Outside London, East Midlands recorded the highest rise in rent asking prices over the last five years. In this area they were up by 19.3 per cent to an average of £875 per calendar month. East Midlands also saw a rise of 7.5 per cent over the last year, the highest of all regions.

Strong demand has led to a dearth of available rental properties outside London, with available stock down by 54 per cent compared to this time in 2019, (in London there were 19 per cent more properties available).

Generally, the rental market is seeing record demand, with a shortage of available stock across all regions outside the capital, said Rightmove.

‘Our data shows a stark contrast between the rental market in central areas of London and the market across the rest of Great Britain’, said Rightmove director of property data Tim Bannister.

‘Agents are telling me that they don’t have enough rental stock to meet the demand from tenants in many areas, while in London there will be some tenants who have a lot more stock to choose from.

‘Even landlords who took a longer term view obviously couldn’t have foreseen the effect that covid would have on rents, and right now they’ll be doing all they can to prevent voids and hope the drop in rents is fleeting. The frenzied buying and selling market is likely to be exacerbating the problem as well, as some sellers are moving into rental accommodation until they find the home they want to buy, adding further demand to already diminishing rental stock levels’.