UK Property - Prime London Lettings Report for January 2021

Prime central London lettings index: 144.2 

Prime outer London sales index: 153.2

Average rents in prime central London fell 13% in the year to January as supply levels remained high during the third UK national lockdown.

A high number of properties switching from the short-let market has been a feature of the lettings market in the capital since the pandemic, which has been exacerbated during moments of tighter lockdown restrictions.

The trend was less marked in prime outer London, where rents fell by 10.7% in the year to January. The declines have been smaller in some leafier parts of London, where the supply of lettings property has been kept in check by a relatively buoyant sales market.

In Wimbledon the annual decline was 2.5%, while it was 4.3% in Hampstead and 6.3% in Belsize Park.

The number of market valuation appraisals for the lettings market rose by 63% versus the five-year average in January, highlighting how supply levels continue to rise.

Meanwhile, the number of tenancies started in January was 19% ahead of the five-year average in London, underlining how activity levels remain strong despite falling rents.

In many cases tenants are taking advantage of falling rents to relocate to new parts of the capital. It was a trend we analysed taking place in Canary Wharf.

The growth in supply continues to put pressure on asking rents said David Mumby, head of Prime Central London lettings at Knight Frank.

“Prime London rents have undergone a fundamental reset,” said David. “Rents are falling and I think the trend will continue until the airports re-open and we see the return of international travel. We are not being inundated with new stock at the same rate as last year, but supply levels are still high.”

The last time annual rental declines were as big was in 2009 during the global financial crisis. Average rents in PCL fell 17.8% in the year to September 2009.

Courtesy: Knight Frank


Mary Worrall - London PR Manager

T: +44 20 7861 5468

S: +44 20 7629 8171

M: +44 7968 622 535 

[email protected]

55 Baker Street



United Kingdom


Knight Frank Research provides strategic advice, consultancy services and forecasting to a wide range of clients worldwide including developers, investors, funding organisations, corporate institutions and the public sector. All our clients recognise the need for expert independent advice customised to their specific needs. © Knight Frank LLP 2020. Terms of use: This report is published for general information only and not to be relied upon in any way. All information is for personal use only and should not be used in any part for commercial third party use. By continuing to access the report, it is recognised that a licence is granted only to use the reports and all content therein in this way. Although high standards have been used in the preparation of the information, analysis, views and projections presented in this report, no responsibility or liability whatsoever can be accepted by Knight Frank LLP for any loss or damage resultant from any use of, reliance on or reference to the contents of this document. As a general report, this material does not necessarily represent the view of Knight Frank LLP in relation to particular properties or projects. The content is strictly copyright and reproduction of the whole or part of it in any form is prohibited without prior written approval from Knight Frank LLP. Knight Frank LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England with registered number OC305934. Our registered office is 55 Baker Street, London, W1U 8AN, where you may look at a list of members’ names.

Search By Reference


Stay updated on the latest Property News

Property Management Banner