The Lettings market gained momentum in August with viewings up by more than a quarter (27%) compared with the same time last year. The latest figures from Hamptons International also highlighted a healthy increase in the number of rental properties on the market, which is up 31 per cent compared with August last year, as well as the number of new properties coming onto the market, which is up 14 per cent, suggesting a post-Olympic Games boost to the market.
Despite enjoying its most successful month ever for its Lettings business, Hamptons International reports that a two-tier market is still in operation, with a distinct imbalance between the performances of the London and Country Lettings markets, although there are signs this is beginning to level out.
Lesley Cairns, Head of Lettings at Hamptons International, commented, "Since the spring, supply in the London Lettings market has outweighed demand, due in part to the number of short-let properties coming onto the market to capitalise on the Olympic Games. This imbalance has resulted in a softening of prices, particularly at the upper end of the market.
"Meanwhile, over this period, the country market has been hot particularly with families looking for family homes to rent close to good schools. These markets have suffered from a lack of supply, creating the opposite effect in the country of which has in turn led to previously unseen bidding wars and inflated rental prices.
"In August, we have started to see signs that this imbalance is leveling out and the market is now getting back into its stride. In London, we have seen booming demand from wealthy overseas students with big budgets looking for a Central London student dig. The corporate market has also picked up speed and is driving demand for Zone 1 and 2 rental properties."
- The number of rental properties in London is up 34 per cent compared with the same time last year
- The London market saw a 13 per cent uplift in demand from new applicants compared with the previous month
- The Country market had five per cent fewer properties on the market compared with last year, and consistent levels of new applicants but conducted 21 per cent more viewings
Cairns concluded: "September is typically the busiest month for the Lettings market and with the summer distractions behind us, we are already seeing the market boom. The stock and supply imbalances are beginning to be addressed which should create some much needed stability in the market."
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