New figures today from Foxtons reveals that average weekly rental prices in May have surpassed the peak of 2022, increasing 8% from the previous month.
The average weekly rent in London surpassed £600 in May, an 8% increase on April and a 13% increase year-on-year. Central London, once again, achieved the highest average weekly rent. However, East London showed the highest year-on-year increase at 18% compared to May 2022.
Foxtons’ analysis of London data shows that market activity picked up significantly in May as we enter the busy summer lettings period. New listings increased 22% from April to May, whilst applicant demand increased 31% over the same period.
Registrations remained broadly flat compared to last year, however Foxtons saw registrations rise 8% in South London and 13% in West London year-to-date compared to last year.
The average rental budget for applicants increased 2% from April to May. Applicants looking to rent in North and East London increased their budgets the most, budgeting 12% more than last year.
The percentage of budget that renters spend to secure a property has increased for the first time in three months, taking the overall average to 102%. Renters in Central London spent 108% of their registered budget in May 2023, a 7% increase compared to April 2023.
Foxtons data found the ratio of new renters per new instruction increased 8% from April to May, while competition decreased 5% year on year. West and South London remained the most competitive regions, with 27 renters per each new instruction year-to-date. This was a 9% increase compared to last year in West London.
Gareth Atkins, managing director of Lettings, said: “We are seeing trends in demand and supply return to a more traditional cycle, in line with what was commonplace before Covid. The one major difference is that even with May’s increase in properties to rent, applicant demand is far exceeding supply. This is partly due to the normal summer influx of incoming university students, corporate relocations and families moving during school holidays combined with the reality that supply has never returned to pre-Covid levels. In May, 8% more renters registered per each new instruction; an early sign of the competition to come.”
Sarah Tonkinson, managing director of Institutional PRS and Build to Rent, commented: “We are right on the cusp of the summer Lettings rush, and with key metrics reaching similar levels to last year, we know we’re in for another busy summer. There was a 22% increase in new listings in May, yet renter demand is already easily outstripping supply. Weekly rent prices have passed £600, once again breaking records, and everyone will be closely watching this metric as the market climbs towards peak season.”