The market in 2015 didn’t appear to follow the usual seasonal trends, with far fewer students on the hunt during autumn and we believe this was due to an increase in specific student housing now available through specialist providers.
Corporate tenants have seen budgets reduced which in turn affected the upper end of the market, however the lower-mid range price bracket (£450-£750per week) remained buoyant. Relocation agents reported a reduction in the number of corporate enquiries in the final quarter of 2015 due to cuts across the financial sector.
However, December was a very active month with a rush of enquiries from people trying to secure a flat before Christmas. It always amazes us how many people like a last minute move on Christmas Eve!
2016 is off to a positive start with strong activity in the market, a healthy number of enquiries, the majority of which are from overseas applicants relocating to London for work over the next couple of months, and the trend for tenants securing longer tenancies seems set to continue, with many applicants requesting 24-36 month contracts.
We’ve agreed a number of tenancies to businesses launching in the area from exciting new restaurants to recording studios and online retailers. The diverse range of tenants seeking to live in the West End is as varied as ever, proving this is still an exciting place to live and work.
Smaller apartments (studios & one beds) remain the most in-demand and we believe that 2016 will see more of an uplift in rents than we witnessed in 2015, with perhaps a 5% increase over the year, compared to around 3% in 2015.