The lettings market: Just for the record
Wed 03 Dec 2008
The usual perception of the property market as a whole is that if sales are down, lettings are up. Yet without question 2008s events have muddied those waters with a confusing and at times conflicting picture. Despite a bumper year for lettings on the whole, with the overall volume of transactions up by 48%, prices in the latter part of 2008 have inescapably softened.
The last few months have unquestionably been a fantastic time to be a tenant, with some of the best deals Ive ever seen. This is a situation created by such a huge amount of property on the market coupled with reduced demand from tenants particularly in the middle market (between approx 600 and 1500 per week the bracket most directly affected by the City downturn) and resultant reduction in corporate relocation.
Im pleased to say however that the number of prospective tenants has finally begun to rise again an increase of 20% in the number of registrations for January tenancies in the past two weeks including many new corporate tenant searches - so perhaps the initial shock waves caused by the financial crisis are subsiding and people are beginning to realise that life goes on and its time to put the wheels in motion for their property search. With all the signs pointing towards a busier market to come in 2009, the substantial rent reductions of the last few months may well start to become a thing of the past. Although it may not happen overnight, it seems highly likely that rents next year will gradually start to strengthen, bringing some long-awaited good news for landlords.