The warm weather and summer holidays might mean fewer people are looking for flats in Chelsea, but lettings are still brisk for the right properties.

One flat. One bedroom. One viewing. One letting. If only everything could be so simple!

The warm weather has distracted everyone, and summer’s customary seasonal slowdown has kicked in… but for the right flat in the right area at the right price, deals are still being done.

Mary Musgrave, lettings manager at Cluttons’ Chelsea branch,

admitted: “The market has been slower over the last few weeks.”

She believes July’s hot days have taken their toll on business, but is optimistic that things are steadily gathering pace again.

“There has been some surplus stock of one and two-bedroom flats, and they have taken longer to move, but things are picking up partly because of the return of students to the area,” she said.

“We anticipate it will really start picking up again over the next few weeks.”

So what constitutes the ‘right’ flat? “Good condition, wood floors and neutral décor,” said Mary.

Whether it’s a five-bedroom split-level maisonette in Hyde Park Gate (Cluttons has a good example available at £2,000 per week) or a dinky studio in Sloane Avenue (the £285 weekly rent includes heating, hot water, new kitchen and the services of a porter), wood floors are de rigueur.

Last week a one-bedroom flat that ticked all the boxes came up for rent in King’s Road, and was snapped up on the first viewing within 24 hours – an instant asking-price offer at £595 per week.

It has superb floors, oodles of natural light, a bathtub and separate shower, and is moments from Sloane Square.

The capital’s rental sector remains strong – a fact confirmed by recently published research commissioned for Cluttons’ research department by Prof Michael Ball of the Henley Business School.

It revealed that more people rent privately in London than anywhere else in the UK, with around half of the capital’s population renting rather than owning. The comparative figure for the rest of the UK is under 30%.

“Private renting is the growing tenure,” said Prof Ball. “In contrast, home ownership and social renting are either stagnating or declining in absolute numbers. A decade ago, 15% of Londoners rented privately; now a quarter do.”

London has a high proportion of young adults in their 20s and 30s, contributing to the growth in the rental sector. Around 36% of Londoners are between 20 and 40, compared to 27% for England as a whole.

The student factor distorts the equation, with London having a high concentration of overseas students.

All in all, the rental sector is growing, with the ‘core tenant group’ being young professionals.

Cluttons staff are always happy to share their accumulated experience of Chelsea’s rental sector with landlords and tenants.

The firm traces its roots back to 1765, when William Clutton took over his father-in-law’s surveying business.

The Chelsea office is at 73 Sloane Avenue, SW3.
Call 020 7584 1771 or Click here for further details.

By Tim Harrison 20.08.13

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