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Prime London rents decline 19.3%

Prime London rents plummeted 19.3% in the year to June 30, according to Knight Frank.

Rents fell 1.9% for the second quarter, marking the fifth consecutive quarterly fall, according to the agency’s Prime London Rental Index for June, published today.

Properties priced from £1,500 per week have been worst affected, with rents down 27% over the year. Stock levels are 83% higher than last June.

Conversely, rents on sub-£500 per week properties have fallen just 11.3% over the past 12 months, while those in the City have fallen just 9.7%.

Liam Bailey, head of Knight Frank’s residential research, says: “Most central London sub-markets have been hit by rental falls, with Chelsea and Kensington being particularly hit with rental falls of over 26% in each area. Only the City has been partially protected from the downturn. The City benefits from a high proportion of lower priced properties that have been better performers during the downturn.

“Indications at the current time are that the sharp growth of stock volumes - which presaged this downturn - is reducing. Properties have been letting faster than they have been replaced since early May and this is helping to reduce void periods.“

He adds: “The summer is likely to be characterised by continuing tough negotiations for landlords, but significant rental reductions from here are unlikely. The traditional busy September market could see the beginning of rental increases in some areas as demand from new employees and their families comes into the market.”

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