Comparing August 2020 and August 2021, there has been a 55% increase in the number of tenants looking for a new home, adding to the widening supply-demand imbalance.
The agency says that this shortage has been partially caused by landlords having sold rental properties during the pandemic or by putting their properties back on the market for short-let contracts rather than long-term tenancy agreements.
Richard Davies, head of lettings at Chestertons, said: “The race to find a rental property in the capital is set to become more competitive, putting landlords firmly in the driving seat of price negotiations. Our August analysis for this year shows a 78% decrease in the number of landlords willing to reduce their rent compared to August last year.
“With demand outstripping supply, rents are now starting to increase and – if limited availability of rental properties continues – it won’t be long before rents return to 2019 levels. The clear shortage in available properties has resulted in greater urgency from tenants who are having to compromise and be more decisive in order to secure a property within their budget.”
Showing the biggest jump in rental prices since August last year are boroughs such Kensington & Chelsea, Fulham & Hammersmith, Westminster, Camden, Richmond Upon Thames and Wandsworth.
“These areas are particularly popular with corporate tenants and international students who are now returning to London. At the same time, our offices register frequent enquiries from people that left the capital during the pandemic but are now longing to be closer to their offices and the entertainment that London offers”, Davies added.