Central London Regional Meetings

  • Central London - Amba Hotel, Charing Cross - Wednesday 18th September 2019 08:30 - 11:30
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  • Central London TBC - Tuesday 14th January 2020 08:30 - 11:30
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  • Central London TBC - Wednesday 30th September 2020 08:30 - 11:30
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Meetings are open to everyone however booking is essential as spaces are limited. For non-members it's £15+VAT to attend a regional meeting or £85+VAT for a Tenant Fees and AML roadshow event.

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Georigina Bartlett

April 2019

In 2018, uncertainty regarding the political and economic outlook was the most obvious driver of both the prime sales and rental markets. Buyers and tenants remained cautious, resulting in markets that were price sensitive.

Yet, the political unknowns around Brexit aren’t the only factors affecting the prime markets. Though we have been in (or are approaching) a period of peak political uncertainty, the size of year-on-year rental falls in the prime markets of London are at their lowest since March 2016. Nor has the effect of a multitude of different market drivers (Brexit included) had a universal impact on different parts of the market.

What can previous rental downturns tell us about the prospects for the market going forward?

The two most recent periods of double-digit falls in the prime London rental market occurred after 9/11 and in the aftermath of the financial crisis. These resulted in rental falls of 20 per cent and 15 per cent respectively and occurred more quickly and more universally across the market than the recent decline.

In this downturn Central London rents have fallen by 16.5 per cent. Across the rest of the prime London market, they have fallen by just 6.4 per cent on average. So why the difference? Previous rental downturns have primarily had single triggers which have hit occupational demand, particularly from overseas and the financial and business services sector. The drivers of the current downturn are more complex.

Demand has undoubtedly been affected by uncertainty in the financial services sector and constraints on corporate budgets. But a more diverse range of needs-based tenants has partly offset this, particularly outside of central London. In more expensive parts of the market, the high cost of stamp duty has also made renting look comparatively more attractive. This has supported rental demand, even if tenants have been more cost-conscious.

Competing levels of supply have been equally influential. In part, this has come from accidental landlords, who have been faced with a drawn-out period of malaise in the sales market. But it has also come from increased competition new-build stock, acquired by cash-rich investors and, to a lesser degree, an increasingly sophisticated build-to-rent sector.

What then are the chances of a rental recovery?

Georgina Bartlett FARLA
ARLA Propertymark Regional Representative
georginabartlett@arla-reps.co.uk

South West

Regional Conferences

We host a series of conferences throughout the UK. Keep up with legislative changes, take part in expert led workshops and network with like-minded professionals. Find out if there's a conference happening in your area.

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