Landlords in prime central London have been warned to price competitively this autumn, as demand for rental property has dropped by 20% and corporate employers looking to accommodate staff have slashed their budgets.
The warning has come from property agents Cluttons, who say that autumn is normally the busiest time of year – but not this one.
The firm says activity is quieter than normal. Relocation activity is focused on low-budget accommodation, while increasing unemployment in the capital is weighing heavily on tenants, who continue to tighten their belts across the board.
Lynn Hilton, partner for residential lettings at Cluttons, said: “Tenant demand has dipped by 20% since the summer, resulting in growing competition for lower cost rentals under £500 per week, so landlords need to put themselves in a favourable position by being competitively priced.
“Tenants have new buying power and landlords who are inflexible on rent and contract terms will find themselves facing void periods.
“Many tenants tied themselves in to rental contracts until October for fear of hitting the market while hiked Olympic rents were still in place.
“I expect to see a slight pick-up in activity during October and November as these tenants seek new contracts, but price will remain the key issue.”