What does the buy-to-let bounce mean for London renters?

London is currently in a rental supply crisis. Low stock levels and a post pandemic surge back into the capital create a perfect storm. In the first three months this year, investors bought property worth GBP8.5 billion, which equates to 42,980 homes in Britain. According to Hamptons data, this figure is twice that of pre-pandemic 2019 and marks the first time since 2016 when more property was bought than sold. Hamptons also believes that the rise in buy-to-let sales could reverse the decline in the rental sector. The pressure from taxes and regulation has caused many landlords to pull out of the market over the years. This has led to a decline in rental stock by 300,000. This is in contrast to the peak of 5.3million in 2017, which was exacerbated by the return of Londoners to the capital after the pandemic. This has led to a frenzy of flat-hunting, with bidding wars and long queues for viewings becoming commonplace in London. The number of available rental properties in London was down 44% last month compared to 2021. Islington and Lambeth were the most popular areas to live in, as well as Hackney, Hackney, and Camden, which saw a dramatic drop of over 50% compared to last year. “A lack of rental properties is one reason why rents have been rising at such a rapid pace over the past year,” Aneisha Beveridge, head research at Hamptons said. March saw a record month for rental growth, with rents rising from their lows in 2021. “But, as these new buys-to-let investments begin to feed into lettings markets over the coming months we expect to see rental growth slow, especially as the cost-of-living crisis weighs down on affordability. “Beveridge said that although landlords have been buying more homes in the capital in the past year, this will not be enough to meet rising tenant demand. “While private rented houses have declined in recent decades, this has been matched with a rise in mortgage home owners as private renters are finally able to purchase. “What is driving up rents is the inability to build enough homes, especially social housing that low-income people can afford. READ MORELiving in London: The cost of renting a flat in every London borough. READ MORERent in London: The cost of renting a flat across all London boroughs. Comment: Millennials are buying fewer houses — we wouldn’t care if there were better options. Renting in London: Tenants’ return to London sparked a ‘conveyor belt’ viewing and rent hikes amid a drop in supply. The strongest growth was seen in Inner London, where rents rose 21.3 percent to an average of GBP2,571 a month.