I have been discussing the Wimbledon rental market with some landlords recently and it seems that rents in Wimbledon are 21.49% higher than they were in 2008. Word has obviously got around as another Wimbledon landlord has since rung me, wanting to know more of the story of what was happening to current rents in the area. The reason he asked was that his current agent hadn’t increased his rent for a number of years and was concerned if he was getting the best return from his buy to let investment.
The Wimbledon rental market is all about supply and demand (isn’t it so in all parts of the economy?). On the supply side, 695 rental properties have come up for let in the last 31 days in Wimbledon. It sounds a lot until you consider there are 10,508 rental properties in Wimbledon, that means only 6.61% of the rental stock of properties in Wimbledon are coming onto the market each month (it is normally around 7%). One reason for this lack of new rental properties coming on the market is the fact that tenants seem to be staying in properties longer.
With this lack of supply, newer tenants have to pay more to secure the property they want. And this is the crux of the matter …properties they want. Older properties in Wimbledon, that haven’t been maintained, still retain their wood chip wallpaper from the 1970’s and thread bare carpets have seen their rents drop. Tenants want either modern properties with all the mod cons or older style properties that have been presented to an exceptional standard – and they are prepared to pay for the privilege. Rents for top quality properties in Wimbledon have risen by 2.3% in the last month. Any properties, old or modern, put on the market in good or excellent condition will rent in a matter of days.
Interestingly, looking at Wimbledon property values, the Land Registry have just released their latest set of data on property values. Throughout April 2015 (the latest set of data), property values rose in Wimbledon, with 0.3% growth, meaning they are now 11.6% higher than they were a year ago. When one looks at the regional picture, the Greater London average property values rose by 2.3% in the last month. The difference doesn’t concern me, as the regional and local property values always even themselves out over the months.
Looking forward, after considering all the statistics and talking to other property professionals, I expect property values in Wimbledon to rise by 3% to 5% over the coming 12 months, following the Conservative victory. In a forthcoming article, I will discuss how the number of properties changing hands each month has dropped considerably in the last 10 to 15 years in the area.
…And so back to our landlord. Each property is unique and so as his tenancy agreement allows him to inspect the property with notice to the tenant, we will be visiting the property next week.