05 May UK Home Counties prime property rents see highest quarterly increase for four years
Prime residential rents in the UK’s Home Counties increased by 3.5% in the first quarter of this year, the highest quarterly growth in nearly four years, the latest index figures show.
On an annual basis prime residential rents have increased by 4.7%, according to the Home Counties Rental Index from real estate firm Knight Frank which also shows that this strong growth in prime rents between January and March was underpinned by an increase in demand.
The data also shows that in the three months to March 2015, the number of tenancies agreed across the Home Counties increased by 18% compared with the same period in 2014.
Meanwhile, the number of viewings rose by 26%, property inspections increased 37% and the total number of prospective tenants registering grew by 25%.
Over this period, demand was strongest for family homes offered for up to £5,000 per month while three to five bedroom properties accounted for 55% of all tenancies agreed between January and March, a similar level to the average for 2014.
Tenants have favoured towns with access to good schools, such as Beaconsfield, Ascot, Cobham and Esher.
Though not prevalent, there is evidence to suggest that some tenants are renting before making a decision about purchasing in the area, a sort of try before you buy, the index report also suggests.
Meanwhile, corporate demand from those relocating to the Home Counties for work also picked up in the first quarter. Interest from corporate tenants is expected to continue to increase as the summer months begin and this is when demand tends to be highest.
In terms of nationalities, some 70% of new tenants in the first three months of the year were from the UK, followed by tenants from North America and Asia.