Lettings News

Tenant applications for London rental properties double in last six months

Em Morley - November 10, 2021

The number of new lettings applicants in London climbed by 34% in the six months between October 2020 and March of this year, compared to the previous six months (April 2020 to September 2020), research shows.

However, this analysis from London estate agency Bective also reveals that the level of tenant applications for London rental properties has more than doubled in the last six months alone. It is up by 104% versus the previous six months (October 2020 to March 2021) and 173% when compared to the peak of the pandemic last year (April 2020 to September 2020).

Bective’s research shows that this tenant interest is also becoming apparent beyond the lettings application stage.

39% of London rental properties listed on the market have seen a let agreed in the last six months, according to the findings. This is up from 36% between October 2020 and March 2021 and 33% between April 2020 to September 2020. The number of rental properties as a proportion of all stock listed online (sales and rentals) has also started to drop, following a surplus on the market due to a drop in demand.

The research highlights that just 34% of all properties listed are now rental properties, down from 42% in the previous six months and 42% in the six months prior to that.

Thomas Dainty, Bective’s Head of Lettings and Property Management, comments: “It’s fair to say that the green shoots of rental market positivity that had started to spring at the back end of last year have now blossomed quite considerably and we’re now seeing the London rental market start to build a real head of steam.

“Not only are we seeing a strong uplift in the number of those enquiring, but these enquiries are also converting which is something we simply weren’t seeing during peak periods of pandemic uncertainty.

“This renewed intent is helping to clear the backlog of rental market stock that had otherwise sat dormant for much of last year. The result of which has been a boost to rental values and we anticipate rents to recover to pre-pandemic levels as a result of this continued demand and positive sentiment.

“We’ve already started to see rental values climb considerably for homes providing more space and the most suitable units have been subject to multiple bids, with the rent achieved up by some 10% on last year already.”

The six-month changes in new lettings applications and total levels of tenant demand and rental stock levels

Time periodChange in new lettings applications %Tenant demandRental stock
Apr 2020 to Sep 2020N/A33%42%
Oct 2020 to Mar 202134%36%42%
Apr 2021 to Sep 2021104%39%34%
SourceBective applications via Rightmove, Zoopla, On the Market and their own websiteRightmove (based on the number of rental properties Let Agreed, as a percentage of all rental properties listed)Rental properties as a percentage of all stock listed (sales and rentals)