Central London rents still on the up

Central London rents are still healthy, according to EA Shaw. Residential rental values increased in March by 3.7 per cent compared to the year before. That equates to an average increase of £562 per week.

The property consultancy noted that although this growth was smaller than the increase recorded in 2011, when rents surged by 19.1 per cent over 12 months, it still indicated a "healthy level of growth" for the capital's lettings market.

"Demand remains healthy in and around Covent Garden, with limited supply. However, a squeeze on corporate budgets, limiting applicants to properties under £700 per week has dampened rent increases in the beginning of 2012," Hannah Read, head of residential lettings for Covent Garden and Soho, told Property Wire .

During the first quarter, two thirds of demand was from overseas tenants, of which US and Far Eastern tenants were the most dominant. Most sought after were one bedroom apartments. Void periods remained low at two weeks or less on good quality apartments.

‘We achieved a price of over £60 per square feet on two one bedroom flats in the heart of Covent Garden within hours of them coming on to the market when the average price is typically between £45 to £55 per square feet,' said Read.