London flatshare and flats to rent

Beating the London rental shortage

Beating the London rental shortage

As you are we are  probably only too well aware, there is a severe shortage of rental property and rooms in London at the moment.

To be frank, we have never seen anything like this since we started  10 years ago.

We think there are several reasons why there is a shortage.

 We think the primary reason is that London is in fact enjoying a business boom and is recruiting young people. This runs contrary to what you hear in the media, but anecdotally, the number of "flatshare wanted" adverts that appear on this site from people who have just secured employment in London exceeds anything that we have seen before.  Again anecdotally, it is evident that the influx of professional grade young people into London, now being a truly  global business capital, continues. This has put a lot of pressure on the higher end of the rental market.

The second most important reason in our view is that people who have been in rental property for several years are not buying property at the moment and  So are not exiting the rental market. The reasons for this in turn are more complex  but are mainly to do with availability of  mortgage credit: at the moment banks are requiring such large deposits that it is almost impossible for somebody in their 20s to  obtain credit.

The third reason is that a lot of "new build" construction stopped two years ago when  building companies were unable to secure further credit. These buildings would have been completed by now. Usually these buildings  provide ample numbers of one or two bedroom flats which are immediately bought by landlords who then immediately rent them out. Although on the scale of things, these flats are a relatively small proportion of the rental housing stock, their   absence has really increased pressure on the premium rental market (which is really  what moveflat trades in).

If that all seems like really bad news,  then take it from us nothing is ever forever. 

New builds have started again and this is evident all over London, landlords will be attracted back into the buy to let market by spiralling demand and the influx of graduates into London will likely abate. It is perfectly possible that in two years time, people will be negotiating rents down rather than up. However that isn't much help in the immediate term and your best bet is really to be flexible about the area that you  Want to live  in.   The best way to approach this is to look at all the tube lines  that go out of a station near to where you work, and explore along the locations on that line. We have recently implemented a search on the home page of this site with that activity in mind. We also plan to bring in a new feature quite saying which will make this search easier and more elaborate. The other option for you is bus routes, and it is worth looking at bus stops around where you work for routes and where those routes go.  Although buses can be frustrating the slow, they do have the vantage that you don't have to walk underground to get them and provided to you have something to do on the bus (studying  your notes from today's meeting of course) then they can be a seated belief hassle free way of getting home.

Finally, our adage again "nothing is forever". It is likely (and there is already evidence on the site's stats  that this is the case) that this very unusual spike in demand will abate. It is therefore worth considering making a temporary arrangement for yourself for six months or more and thinking laterally about travel in terms of possibly buses and even cycling until such time as there is more availability.

Julian and


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