London’s Home Counties Lettings Index released by real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank reveals that the demand for rental houses has increased with more number of tenants evincing interest.

The year-on-year increase in the number of instructions for the fourth quarter (Oct-Dec 2016) was 39 per cent, indicating that tenants were actively inquiring for suitable properties for rent in the Home Counties (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex).

“Viewings (property) rose by 17% in Q4 2016 compared with the same period of 2015, while the number of new prospective tenants increased by 28% over the same time,” Knight Frank said in its statement. At the same time, the number of market appraisals was up by 45 per cent for the same period. This gives a clear indication of the future stock level and the market is on an upswing.

The number of tenancies agreed during the fourth quarter was 12 per cent higher than the corresponding period of 2015 and sequentially up by 16 per cent when compared to July-August-September 2016.

However, the higher stock levels have led to a marginal fall in prime rental values of Home Counties by 0.8 per cent. This may have prompted tenants to explore quality homes for rent in the Home Counties.