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Friday, December 2, 2022

Renting in London: the number of homes available to rent in every borough

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L

ondon’s rental market has descended into chaos as extreme property shortages leave tenants struggling to find somewhere to live.

The supply crisis means the number of rental properties available in the capital last month was down 44 per cent on 2021, and 25 per cent below levels seen before the pandemic, according to recent data.

With demand still high, tenants are outnumbering available properties by three to one, with Rightmove calling it “the most competitive rental market ever recorded”.

Numbers of available rentals are down in all 32 boroughs, and the City of London, with some of the most popular places to live such as Islington, Lambeth, Hackney and Camden seeing disastrous falls of more than 50 per cent compared with last year.

New data compiled by TwentyCi for Homes & Property shows that there are currently 44,646 rentals available across the capital.

Westminster has the most homes currently available to rent, with 6,271 listed. The central borough is followed by Tower Hamlets in east London, where there are 3,568, and Kensington and Chelsea in west London, where tenants can choose between 3,452 rental homes.

Laura Stronghill, senior head of lettings at Hamptons’ Canary Wharf office, said that in Tower Hamlets the high figures can be explained by the large amount of build to rent developments and new builds in the area such as Canary Wharf Group’s Vertus and the Landmark Pinnacle residential tower.

However higher stock levels do not necessarily mean lower prices or a less competitive market.

“Despite there being an apparent good level of stock, we still find that demand is outstripping supply and multi-offers are coming through on most properties,” said Ms Stronghill.

“This is likely because most people who are returning to London are based in Canary Wharf and the City for work and want easy commutes, using as little public transport as possible. So the demand is there for these big sites.”

Stronghill also added it was about the “right type of stock” coming onto the market, pointing out that Rightmove shows there are around 1,800 properties in Tower Hamlets on the market, but that 555 of these are one-beds, and 837 are two-beds.

In Westminster, James Benson, co-founder of James of Westminster, said flats were “flying out the door” before photographs have been taken.

He said an explanation for the higher availability in the borough was that rents in Westminster are “prohibitively high” for people to consider if they might only be working in London three days a week.

At the other end of the scale, the boroughs with the lowest numbers of available properties were the City of London, with just 220 homes currently on the lettings market. Havering, Bexley, Sutton and Barking and Dagenham all had fewer than 500 homes available.

Number of homes to rent in every London borough

London borough

Number of rentals

Westminster

6,271

Tower Hamlets

3,568

Kensington and Chelsea

3,452

Camden

2,782

Hammersmith and Fulham

2,327

Wandsworth

1,926

Barnet

1,855

Lambeth

1,655

Brent

1,540

Southwark

1,495

Ealing

1,490

Islington

1,463

Newham

1,146

Hackney

1,107

Croydon

1,049

Hounslow

1,023

Haringey

1,018

Lewisham

990

Greenwich

905

Hillingdon

897

Redbridge

789

Harrow

738

Merton

737

Enfield

693

Richmond upon Thames

625

Waltham Forest

546

Bromley

537

Kingston upon Thames

500

Barking and Dagenham

373

Sutton

333

Bexley

308

Havering

288

City of London

220

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