by Daren Haysom
Daren Haysom, Foxtons’ area director for northeast London, explains why Stoke Newington, Dalston and Hackney remain highly attractive – and affordable – for people wanting to rent
Unlike the sales market, which can be heavily influenced by a number of external factors, the lettings market is mainly led by demand. In Stoke Newington and the rest of the N16 postcode, demand remains strong. With a high rate of renewals and limited stock available, the ratio of potential tenants per property on our books at present averages 12:1.
Due to their property portfolio comprising predominantly of Victorian family homes with three bedrooms and up, the Stoke Newington, Dalston and Hackney areas attract a high number of families and professional sharers. Stoke Newington’s vibrant high street with its wide array of independent amenities, including world-renowned L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele and locals’ favourites such as The Good Egg and Zona coffee shop, can rival the more established high street in Islington. N16 is known for its good sense of community and family-friendly atmosphere, sought-after primary schools such as Grasmere and William Patten, and easy access to London’s financial districts, all adding to the appeal of the area.
The N16 postcode still offers good value to tenants, with the average price for a two bedroom apartment around £470 per week, which is approximately 15% lower than in the nearby Highbury and Islington areas. The corporate lettings market is also well-developed in and around N16, a popular area for insurance companies to temporarily re-home their clients on a short-term basis.
Another point of differencein the N16 lettings market is that 95% of its landlord base consist of either small-scale private landlords or “accidental landlords”, those with only one property to let that came into their possession by circumstance (couples moving in together, family inheritance etc.) rather than as a planned investment purchase. This ensures A higher standard of properties to let, as many landlords have taken pride and care in the place they used to call home, which in return benefits tenants.
The latter becomes especially important in light of the new regulations effective from 6 April this year, which will see a 25% reduction in mortgage interest relief on additional properties, gradually set to increase to 100% by 2020. This will bring into perspective the value of an increase in rent in comparison to tenant retention to avoid the void period between tenancies. Our advice to landlords is that tenant care has never been more important; similarly, most tenants want security of tenure for at least a few years, therefore establishing good relationships from the outset is beneficial for both parties.
The London lettings market is getting ready for its busiest time of the year, usually between May and September, and we expect the market in N16 to perform strongly on a par with the previous year.