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After months of decline, rents in prime central London have begun to climb upwards again, according to new research. Rents in many of London's most prestigious locations such as Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Mayfair increased by 4% or more over the final quarter of 2014, the data from lettings firm Benham & Reeves says. Inner suburbs, meanwhile, saw more modest rental increases but indicators suggest the market is still very strong. Agents also report a number of tenants choosing to rent until the sales market stabilises after the general election. However, Chelsea and South Kensington saw significant falls in rents in contrast to neighbouring areas and the firm pointed out that they rely much more heavily on the domestic market so have not seen the same uplift from foreign demand. Most of the inner suburbs saw rents stabilise or enjoy modest growth although the rental market in north London areas such as Hampstead and Highgate continued to cool. The firm also pointed out that fewer new homes are being built in the area so tenants are drawn to newer and often less expensive developments in east London. The two boroughs that reportedly saw the biggest capital growth in London last year, Hackney and Greenwich, also saw large rent increases as new developments came to the market. ‘Prime central London is seen as a blue chip investment for a reason. Capital growth may have slowed but its popularity remains undiminished, especially in the eyes of tenants,’ said Marc von Grundherr, lettings director at Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings. ‘Bearish headlines at the end of last year were cause for concern, but landlords who have kept their nerve in the latter half of 2015 are finally seeing their just rewards,’ he added. Continue reading →
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