2012 promises to be full of patriotic fervour and optimism with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the sporting events of the summer.
I am pleased to say 2011 was a quietly successful year for the lettings market in Battersea and I believe this will continue into the new year. Stock levels at the beginning of the year were still very low resulting in continuing high rental values and applicant demand. These gradually increased for a number of reasons; families moving out of London but preferring to retain a foothold, companies relocating staff overseas and those buying to let, to name a few. Rental values remained high as applicant demand continued right up until the very tail end of the year as there was competition for available rental properties.
The market for two or three bedroom properties is particularly strong at present, as the majority of applicants are professional sharers in their late 20's or early 30's or are young families. I would anticipate increasing demand for family houses as the year moves on.
The condition of a property offered for rental has become increasingly important for tenants, the kitchen and bathrooms, in particular.
If you are considering renting your home, a fresh coat of paint in a very neutral tone, a clean and tidy interior and a well maintained exterior can make all the difference to how your property is perceived and therefore how quickly it is let. A run down or poorly presented property can also be seen by tenants as an indication of a disinterested or uncaring landlord, so it is very important to make a great first impression which will instil confidence in prospective tenants.
Looking forward to the exciting year ahead, I believe the rental market in Battersea will continue grow. As the situation currently stands, I do not think rental prices will increase much beyond their current level following the peak in the autumn of 2011. The uncertainty in Europe over the Euro will make for a cautious market in the first half of the year.
I am confident that we will have another successful year, as increasing numbers of tenants and landlords are enticed south of the river into what I've recently heard referred to as 'South Chelsea', particularly as work on the new US Embassy in Nine Elms progresses.