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January Rental Demand To Be Strong

High activity in the private rental sector is anticipated in January, marking it as the strongest month outside of the summer season.

Estate agents Marsh and Parsons predict a rental surge as 2016 begins, fuelled by corporate relocations and post-Christmas divorces and separations. For the past three years, a 34 per cent monthly boost has been recorded between December and January, as the new year puts paid to the slow winter market.

2016 could bring record highs, with prime London rents expected to rise 5 per cent over the next year, a significant increase from the 1.9 per cent growth the year before. Single bedroom properties were the most popular home type in London, with demand significantly outstripping supply. An excess of two bedroom homes has meant that they offer a viable alternative, and are anticipated to become increasingly sought after.

The number of homes available in the capital is down significantly year on year, with the total supply of rental properties 9 per cent lower than in 2014, whilst demand is up by 7 per cent.
Longer tenancies are becoming the norm, with the average length for a prime rental property in London up 18 per cent from an average of 19 months in the third quarter of 2013 to 23 months in 2015. Two-year leases are expected to become increasingly popular as stability is valued more and more.

Director of Lettings at Marsh & Parsons, Patrick Littlemore, commented: Come January, households will be picking up where they left off on big life decisions be this downsizing, starting a new job, relocating overseas or even separating and moving out of the marital home. All of these combine to give new impetus to the rental market at the very start of the year, and its a time when we experience some of our most zealous lettings activity. As tenant demand mushrooms in January, this initial activity will feed into stronger and more sustained rent growth throughout 2016 as a whole.

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