News & Insight‘Our rents are fair’ say majority of London renters

‘Our rents are fair’ say majority of London renters

Almost two thirds of London renters believe that their current rental property is fairly priced, according to new research by property specialist Centrick.

London residents also show the highest proportion of salary spent on rental outgoings, with 48% of responders stating their rental outgoings equated to between 30% and 50% of their total income, significantly higher than the national equivalent of 38%.

While 35.3% of surveyed respondents in London reported rental outgoings of over £1200 per month, nationally the study showed rents of over £1200 in around 25% of renters in both private rented sector (PRS) and built-to-rent (BTR).

According to Centrick’s Love Where You Live report, and new regional data released ahead of industry conference MIPIM, some 64% of Londoners surveyed feel that their current rental property is fairly priced, only marginally below the national average of 66% and significantly higher than Manchester at 54%.

The Love Where You Live research takes an in-depth look at Britain’s booming build-to-rent (BTR) market, the factors driving its growth, and why some renters and investors are turning their backs on the traditional private rented sector in favour of high quality, purpose-built BTR developments.

Unlike traditional apartment buildings, BTR properties focus on creating engaged, fully rounded communities with amenities and features like screening rooms, private dining facilities, hosting kitchens, residents’ lounges and bookable services built in, says the Love Where You Live research published by national property specialists Centrick.

Like many capital cities, Londoners can be seen as being unfriendly, interestingly the study shows that they are actually one of the most neighbourly of all the regions surveyed. Nationally, 82.8% of all responders stated they got on well or very well with their neighbours, whereas almost 88% of Londoners responded in the same way.

71.71% of Londoners also stated that their rental community was “somewhat” or “very” engaged and active, the second highest response of all regions. London tenants ranked socialising space as their 4th most important feature and perhaps unsurprisingly also showed the highest levels of satisfaction with their local leisure and recreational facilities.

This suggests that Londoners are enjoying a higher than average social and leisure environment both inside and outside the home.

Additionally, Londoners show a higher propensity to prioritise basic amenities, parking, energy efficiency and garden space on the importance scale, as well as preferring to pay more for the visible benefits of gym and fitness facilities.

Pet friendliness is a common and even expected theme in many BTR developments, yet developers in London may not need to install pet doors just yet – a mere 27% of respondents stated they would be willing to pay more for this feature. Instead, London residents overwhelmingly value parking, with over 40% of residents willing to pay more for this. The value of space is not confined to four wheels either, with 36% of responders stating that they would be willing to pay more for garden space too.

Notably, London residents also show a significant level of perceived security within their rental properties. Over 77% of responders stated that they felt safe in their rental property and community, remarkably higher than the national average of 67%.

Centrick, which was established in 2005, specialises in Building & Estate Management, BTR Portfolio Management, PRS Portfolio Management and Professional Service & Valuation in addition to Land, New Homes and Investment services. According to the report, the combination of energy efficient homes and community features is working, with just 1 in 10 current BTR residents considering going back to the private rented sector.

Energy efficiency has emerged as the most important factor when choosing a new home as renters continue to grapple with the cost-of-living crisis, according to a major report on the future of build-to-rent (BTR) and private rented sector property (PRS) in the UK.

Over 83% of renters in both BTR and PRS property reported that energy efficiency was important to them in their rental property with the availability of garden space and lounge/socialising space completing the renters top three wish-list.  Parking and pet friendliness ranked 4th and 5th respectively says the research.

The research and report focuses on six cities – London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Southampton – where BTR is increasing rapidly in popularity with a wide demographic of residents opting to rent instead of buy.  The research suggests that renters have significant and varied preferences, with generational and locational trends emerging strongly. Renters show a significant propensity for choice and movement, with over 50% of renters planning to move from their current property within the next 12 months.

Key findings include:

Birmingham – 87% of renters satisfied or very satisfied with current amenities.

Manchester – Most likely to value pet friendliness.

Sheffield – 40% of renters willing to pay more for parking.

London – 88% of renters get on well or very well with the neighbours.

Liverpool – 36% of renters willing to pay more for EV charging facilities.

Southampton – 29% residents planning to stay put for 18+ months.

Centrick founder James Ackrill said:

“In recent years, the residential real estate landscape has witnessed the transformative trend known as Build to Rent housing. This innovative approach to housing investment, construction and management has swiftly emerged as a dynamic and relevant force in the housing market.

“Our objective is to dig into real world trends from real renters and explore the path forward for both those who seek to invest in BTR developments and those who aspire to call them home. This study is driven by the recognition that BTR is more than a mere housing solution; it is a concept that, when well-executed, can redefine the way we relate to the places we live. It carries the potential to create not just spaces, but communities where people feel a genuine connection to their surroundings, fostering a sense of belonging and happiness in their daily lives.”

He added:

“Love Where You Live is more than a research paper; it’s a testament to the transformative power of home, and a celebration of the boundless potential of Build to Rent housing in redefining the way we live, love, and create our lives in the future.”

The study also asked which amenities and features residents would be willing to pay a higher rent for. Parking ranked most highly with 38.69% of responders citing this as the singular feature they would be willing to pay more for. Garden space and energy efficiency also featured highly at 37% and 36% respectively, echoing what respondents cited as their most important features. Gym and fitness facilities and EV charging are cited at positions four and five respectively.

With over 80% of residents surveyed responding that energy efficiency was important or very important, it is obvious that this is the key feature for the majority of renters across both BTR and PRS when considering their next move.  In fact, a mere 5.59% of responders stated that energy efficiency was “not important at all”, a testament to the importance of energy costs and sustainability to all residents. Birmingham-based Centrick, which also has offices in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Gerrards Cross and Fareham has grown consistently since its inception by successfully prioritising innovation, expertise, and building trusted relationships with its clients to deliver high quality service and results. First opening its doors in 2005, the agency now has over 23,500 properties across the UK on its books and manages over £3.5 billion in client assets.