Rental prices in London fell by seven per cent year-on-year during the third quarter of 2020, according to a new survey.
The study by Spareroom.com found that the average cost of renting in the capital was down for the second successive quarter, a trend it suggested was connected to Brexit and the pandemic.
London’s situation contrasted with the overall UK figure, with rents up by two per cent, although Scotland was down by two per cent, primarily due to a ten per cent drop in Edinburgh, the largest of any major UK city.
The overall situation in the metropolis was focused heavily on inner London areas, with letting agents in Hornchurch and other districts on the fringe of the capital not witnessing the dramatic falls seen in more central locations.
Of all London postcodes, EC3 (Aldgate) saw the greatest drop, with rents plunging by 34 per cent, followed by W9 (Maida Vale and Paddington) at 20 per cent and SW1 (Westminster, Belgravia and Pimlico), which was down by 17 per cent. W10 (North Kensington), NW8 (St John’s Wood) and W8 (Holland Park) were all down by 16 per cent.
The SE area of London postcodes was the only part that did not see a fall in rents.
Spareroom director Matt Hutchinson said it was clear the most expensive areas were being affected, with younger renters leaving the capital “to find cheaper rents, to move with family, or to leave the UK altogether”.
He added: “It's hard to know when, or even if, London will regain the appeal it had before the pandemic.”
The latest figures follow a previous survey last year by Spareroom that found 27 per cent of renters in London plan to move after the pandemic and for nearly half that means leaving the capital. Of those who intend to move, 60 per cent do not want to move to another city, indicating plans for a clear change of lifestyle.
According to Spareroom, this is likely to be a consequence of many people reassessing their lifestyles in the wake of the pandemic and planning a future away from crowded urban areas.