At the centre of it all
The super-prime rental market is enjoying a renaissance as London – along with other global hubs, including New York and Singapore – returns to form. “There has been a shift in the perception of renting in the past few years,” says Isabella Birch Reynardson, head of super-prime lettings at Savills. “Renting has become an increasingly ‘cool’ choice, as it provides access to a covetable lifestyle and the flexibility to try out different hot-spot neighbourhoods.” Kensington, Chelsea, Mayfair and Notting Hill – some of the most exclusive postcodes in central London – are high on the list of preferred locations for both domestic and international clients.
While super-prime rentals in London usually command weekly rents of £5,000 and upwards, rates of £20,000-£50,000 a week are not uncommon. Most clients want a lease of two years or more, and about 85% of the current demand in London is for fully furnished turnkey properties.
The pull of the capital
London’s internationally respected schools are a big draw for high-net-worth families, who are attracted by the exceptional quality and choice of education available. Hannah Norton, of Savills Sloane Street office, has helped several US families find a rental property this year within easy reach of the American School in London. Many of them are relocating from Californian cities, particularly Los Angeles. They are also keen to “try before they buy”, settling their children in schools before committing to a high-value property purchase in a particular area.
It’s not just stellar schooling that is attracting clients to London’s rental market. The city’s shops, restaurants and theatres are thriving again following the Covid-19 lockdowns, and the cosmopolitan feel is drawing people back. While many moved out of London to enjoy the green space afforded by the countryside during the pandemic, these same people now find themselves travelling back to the capital for work commitments and social engagements.
In high demand
The rise in demand for rental properties, coupled with an acute lack of available homes, has contributed to a growth in rents in London’s prime market, forecast by Savills Research to grow by 12% this year and 18.3% over the next five years.
The reopening of international borders at the end of 2021 has led to similar growth in many of the world’s cities, with New York, Singapore and Lisbon all recording prime rental increases in excess of 7%.
“While many high-net-worth individuals may have previously coveted extended stays in hotel suites, the prime rental sector is now preferred due to the enhanced control people have over the environment, personalisation and other lifestyle factors,” says Birch Reynardson. “On top of this, their annual accommodation expenditure can be lower, so it’s a win-win situation.”
To discuss a rental property in central London, please contact Isabella Birch Reynardson.
Isabella Birch Reynardson
Head of super prime lettings at Savills |+44 (0) 207 824 9009
Pictures from top: London life (Alamy); a stylish rental in Chelsea with verdant outdoor space; a Knightsbridge mansion flat; bedroom and sitting room in the Knightsbridge flat; a house in Regent’s Park