Rents on the up in St Albans and Harpenden
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Prime rents in Harpenden and St Albans increased by 0.7 per in the three months to the end of September, thanks to a combination of strong demand for larger properties and a shortage of supply.
According to latest research from Savills, these upmarket areas also saw annual growth of 2.2 per cent - a contrast to the London lettings market, where prices fell in many areas, most significantly in Central London (-4.7 per cent).
Ryan Green, who leads the lettings teams at Savills in Harpenden, said large parts of the market continue to be driven by movers seeking major lifestyle changes post-lockdown.
“It’s too early to know if this shift in mindset and behavior is permanent,” he said, “but we expect to see it carry over into early 2021 at least.”
He said that Savills’ Harpenden branch has received multiple offers on some properties, and competition for those seen as ‘best in class’ – particularly family homes in the likes of Harpenden, St Albans and surrounding villages – has fuelled price rises.
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He said: “People now anticipating a mix of home and office working are looking further afield, while some are adopting a ‘try before you buy’ approach before a permanent move. Strongest demand is for houses with gardens in good locations as well as ‘lifestyle’ type properties in more semi-rural areas.
“However, tenant demand is only part of the story. The strong appetite for properties means that stock levels have fallen to some of the lowest we’ve seen.”
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As a result of this continued buoyancy, Savills now expect rental prices to rise by 11.5 per cent in the commuter belt by 2024, while a 7.6 per cent increase is predicted for London.