The number of executives searching for rental properties is rising as the successful UK vaccination programme paves the way for a return to the office. The problem they face is a shortage of supply.
Family houses to let in prime locations in London and the south-east are increasingly scarce as owners decide to capitalise on a resurgent sales market. UK sales transaction numbers hit a 15-year high last month and prime markets were no exception. While there is a general over-supply of rental properties in London and the south-east, the same is not true for houses in prime locations with outdoor space.
A similar supply shortage has affected Premier League footballers and impacted the so-called super-prime £5,000+/week rental market in London.
In the corporate world, the shortage is most acute for houses between £2,000 and £4,000 per week. Tenants in this price bracket typically include European or North American families with one or both parents working in finance or tech. In-demand locations include Hampstead, Notting Hill, Kensington and parts of the Home Counties.
As the UK economy opens up following a third national lockdown, the number of searches by relocation agents is on the rise, as the below chart shows. The number is four times higher than April last year during the first national lockdown. Such agents represent senior international executives moving to the UK with budgets typically up to £4,000 per week.