Fri. May 20th, 2022

The number of new leases in the best locations in London is the highest in a decade as workers return to the office after Covid lockdowns

  • New data shows that the number of potential tenants is 56% higher than last year
  • Workers rent London hubs after selling for more space in lockdowns
  • Experts also cite the return of overseas tenants and students as the reason behind the increase


The number of rentals starting in the best locations in London in September was the highest monthly sum in the last 10 years, a real estate agent has reported.

The number of new potential tenants who signed up was 56 percent higher than in September last year, said Knight Frank, a residential and commercial real estate consultant.

Offices are reopening, overseas tenants are arriving in greater numbers and people returning to universities are behind the numbers, it suggested.

The number of rentals that started in the best locations in London in September was the highest monthly amount in the last 10 years, a real estate agent has reported as workers return to the office.  In the picture: data shows that rents have increased around London's financial area at a faster rate

The number of rentals that started in the best locations in London in September was the highest monthly amount in the last 10 years, a real estate agent has reported as workers return to the office. In the picture: data shows that rents have increased around London’s financial area at a faster rate

In what industry experts stamped the ‘race for space’, many residents from the capital sold themselves and moved out of the city in an attempt to find properties with more space during lockdowns.

Tenants switched inner London hubs to homes further afield as the need to commute became less important than a desire for space, data from RightMove showed last year.

But as workers now return to the office, Knight Franks says data suggests office workers are renting a London base that has moved out of the capital as part of the ‘race for space’ trend.

The company compared how many properties were rented as a share of all listings in Greater London and an area that includes locations around the city and Canary Wharf, according to OnTheMarket.

The neighborhoods in the latter group include the E14, Southbank, Wapping, Shad Thames, southern Islington, E1, E2, E3 and the square kilometer itself.

The rate in both groups was 13 percent at the beginning of the year, but there has been a deviation in recent months.

Knight Frank also says that companies are asking for relocations now that travel restrictions have been eased and that inquiries have increased in line with the number of Heathrow passengers

Knight Frank also says that companies are asking for relocations now that travel restrictions have been eased and that inquiries have increased in line with the number of Heathrow passengers

Knight Frank says the rental market is heating up in and around the financial district of London as workers who sold for more space in the lockdown rent hubs near the office

Knight Frank says the rental market is heating up in and around the financial district of London as workers who sold for more space in the lockdown rent hubs near the office

While 22.5 per cent of the Greater London lists were leased in August, the figure was 28 per cent in areas around the two financial districts.

The real estate agent added that average rental values ​​rose quarterly by the largest amount in a decade in prime central (2.8 per cent) and prime outer London (2.6 per cent).

The primary property numbers pretty much cover the top 10 percent of properties by value within Knight Frank’s office patches.

David Mumby, head of prime leasing at Knight Frank, said: ‘We are seeing competitive bids in main markets in central London, where new tenants are mainly’ London leavers’, who are now returning to the office, and international students who are still agree on properties based solely on virtual views. ‘

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