Rising rents increase 1-bed demand in London

Rising rents are forcing many London tenants to search for smaller properties, creating fierce competition for one-bedroom flats, reports property consultants Cluttons. Where traditionally the majority of city workers have opted for a two-bedroom property, giving them a spare bedroom or a study, the firm has seen a sharp rise in demand for one-bedroom apartments as tenants try to keep rental costs down.

The usual cycle of workers upsizing to a larger property after a year or so has stalled, as many are deterred from moving by rising rental prices and a desire to keep their outgoings low, as concerns over job stability continue. This shortage of one-bedroom properties has been exacerbated by the continuing difficulty in obtaining mortgage finance, which is preventing many tenants from purchasing their first home.

Cluttons partner Lynn Hilton said, "The combination of a difficult mortgage market, rising rents and general economic uncertainty has put significant pressure on the lower end of the prime London lettings market. Previously one-bedroom properties were often seen as pied-à-terres or short-term homes, but the market has shifted so that single professionals and couples, who would have previously chosen a two-bed, now see the spare room as an unnecessary luxury.

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