London Rentals Market Continues to Soar

By Benham And Reeves Residential Lettings, PRNE
Monday, April 11, 2011

LONDON, April 12, 2011 - One of London's leading lettings experts says the Capital's residential
lettings market continues to soar, prompting a severe shortage of properties
for prospective tenants.

"Summer has come early to London in every sense - the sun is out and the
rental market is ultra-hot thanks to a unique combination of four factors"
explains Anita Mehra, Managing Director of Benham and Reeves Residential
Lettings (

"Firstly, property remains very attractive to overseas investors because
of the exchange rate, which makes many homes effectively 20 per cent cheaper
now than in 2006" says Anita, who has just returned from several property
exhibitions in Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

"Secondly, the City - on which much of the Capital's prime rental market
depends - is in good health. Experian, a business consultancy, predicts
London's financial and business services sector will grow 2.8% per annum over
the next five years" she says. The result is that many overseas financial
services experts are coming to the UK for short periods and become the
professional tenants who so many landlords want to attract.

Thirdly, there are growing numbers of international students in London -
there are now 285,000, some 25% more than just two years ago, and academic
experts say there will be a predicted 47,000 student-bed shortfall by 2016 as
the number of incomers grows well beyond the construction of purpose-built

Finally, falling levels of new house-building and continued mortgage
restrictions, especially for first time and young professional buyers, mean
the demand for London homes - to buy and to rent - look likely to outstrip
supply for many years to come.

"The result is that investors from around the world are interested in
buying in London, and we simply cannot find enough stock to satisfy our
rental demand. At the Asian exhibitions I recently attended there was
particular interest and talk about keynote developments like Pan Peninsula
and The Landmark in Canary Wharf and The Marconi building in The Strand. Most
investors are buying smaller units such as studios and one-beds because of
market demand" explains Anita.

"This is the time for investors to buy and let out. Relatively high entry
prices for individual properties should not be regarded as a barrier to
investment" says Anita.

Smaller units are popular with investors because they are highly
affordable, and are very popular with tenants because they are less expensive
- despite rents having risen 10% or more in the past year. Many corporate and
overseas student tenants are particularly keen on smaller, easy-to-manage

Demand is so strong that Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings
( has many clients who have bought keenly-priced
apartments on the fringes of central London, as well as in prime areas, and
letting at premium rental levels within a week of purchase.

Anita says: "But the critical factor is that this is not just a market
producing short term gains on rental income. It also promises long term
capital appreciation; property consultancies like Savills predict much of
central London will see 33% increases in value by 2016."

As an independent lettings agent, Benham & Reeves is uniquely well-placed
to assist international investors. The company has offices in Hong Kong,
Singapore, Dubai and Mumbai and key members of the firm frequently visit to
meet prospective investors.

There is also a complete property management service, handling not only
purchase and rental but also tenant- and facilities-management and offering
assistance on preparing and refurbishing apartments to optimise rental

Anita Mehra says: "This is the time to invest before exchange rates swing
away from overseas buyers or capital values rise too steeply. London is red
hot just now."

Editor's notes:

Established in 1956 in Hampstead, London, and now with 9 offices in the
prime residential areas of London, (and overseas offices in Singapore, Hong
, Dubai, Delhi and Mumbai), Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings is
recognised as one of London's largest, specialist lettings and property
management agencies. To complement this, they also provide an interior
design, refurbishment and furnishings service for London rental investment
properties to landlords based worldwide.

    Press enquiries:
    Tracie Lack
    Tel: +44(0)20-7433-6675


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