Lack of overseas tenants pushes down London rents

London landlords are being hit by a fall in rental income as the numbers of applicants from overseas declines, figures from Hamptons International reveal.

The company has reported that the number of overseas applicants looking for a property to rent in London has fallen by 20% in the last six months.

Prime areas of London including Tower Bridge, Kensington and Knightsbridge have been hardest hit by the fall-off in overseas tenants, with rental prices over the last six months down by up to 16%.

Hamptons International claims that the high-end of the London lettings market in particular is being hampered by a lack of international movement of key personnel.

Conversely interest from UK-based applicants has doubled since the start of the year.

Lesley Cairns, head of residential lettings at Hamptons International, says: “Existing UK employees now often have to work longer hours with a post-credit crunch reduced workforce, with many people opting to live closer to work, which is now a possibility due to market conditions pushing down prime London rents.

“This was previously impossible with supply very much in demand and prices at an all-time high.”

Cairns adds: “This is a great market for tenants, but each week a property sits empty costs a landlord money.

“With such an abundance of stock available, we urge landlords to be flexible and realistic about pricing.”