Market for desirable London properties widens as renters put location before size

Research by London estate agent Knight Frank has revealed young people renting flats in the capital consider size unimportant when deciding where to live.

The survey shows potential young tenants are willing to sacrifice size in favour of a good location, opening up the market for buy to let investors to include smaller flats as long as they fall into desirable areas of the city.  

More than half (54 per cent) of the 18-24 year olds questioned claimed they would be quite happy to rent out a studio flat that was located centrally and 45 per cent said they would even seriously consider a ‘microflat’ of just 300 square feet, provided it was in an ideal location.

Grainne Gilmore, Head of UK Residential Research at Knight Frank, explained that when it comes to location versus affordability, a much higher proportion of Londoners are willing to live in smaller accommodation in order to pay less rent and make sure they’re in a good location.

This is particularly evident amongst younger tenants who place greater emphasis on location and cost than size.

Gilmore continued to link the growth of the Private Rented Sector seen across the UK with trends in house prices, adding that it is also expanding amongst an increased demand for a more flexible workforce in major urban areas.

The survey also included London tenants aged 35-44 years with one in five of this age group never expecting to own their own home.

Overall, 18 per cent of the London renters questioned said they expect that they will continue to be renting for the next three to 10 years.

According to the National Housing Federation, other parts of the country are beginning to catch up with London in terms of rent averages.

The capital has been the most expensive place to rent in the UK for a long time, but research by the organisation found there are a number of regions, mainly located in the South East, that are pricier than some parts of London when it comes to the proportion of income spent on rent.

This is not the first evidence of using space efficiently coming to the forefront in the buy to let market.

To see more information about rental averages and buy to let data please visit our Research Data page.