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REPORT: London rental stock shrinks by 41% as landlords quit sector

London’s rental market is contracting dramatically as landlords exist the market, a new joint report by estate agency Savills and the London School of Economics has highlighted.

Its report, which included London Property Licencing on its advisory board, reveals a 41% reduction in the number of London properties available for private rent since the Covid-19 pandemic ended.

“London’s private rented sector, which provides homes for over one million households, is heavily reliant on private landlords,” says Abigail Davies, Director, Savills.

“Many have high levels of borrowing who find themselves at the sharp end of the turmoil in the mortgage market.”

The two groups which funded the report, Capital Letters and London Housing Directors’ Group, say the contraction in supply, along with the ongoing gap in the Local Housing Allowance and fast-rising rents, make Government intervention to prevent rising homelessness more important than ever.

The report highlights how the availability of large homes with four bedrooms declined the most (-46%) while overall asking rents increased by 20% since March 2020.

Broken

“This research is the latest evidence of how the capital’s broken housing market is worsening the unsustainable and increasingly unmanageable pressures we face in London,” says Cllr Darren Rodwell (pictured), London Councils’ Executive Member for Regeneration, Housing & Planning.

“A bad situation is now becoming disastrous. We’re seeing fast-rising private rents and reduced availability of rental properties against a backdrop of continuing cost-of-living pressures and London’s longstanding shortage of affordable housing.”

suie coulson capital letters

Sue Edmonds (pictured), Chief Executive of Capital Letters, adds: “This research makes stark reading, and it is further evidence that our homelessness system is breaking down. This is the worst it has been for 30 years.

"The main issue is supply – there simply aren’t enough homes, and the contraction of the private rented sector, alongside escalating rents, is a severe blow to those who rely on it.”

Read the report in full.

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