Initial reports that residential rental prices would soar in London because of the Olympics have not been borne out just days before the opening ceremony.
Those asking too much have found their properties empty this week while landlords with realistic expectations have not been disappointed.
Zain Mahal proprietor of Belvoir Stratford, which operates in the heart of where the Olympics will be held, says that although there has been an increase in rental demand in the Stratford area, excessive rental returns have in fact been muted.
‘Due to the influx of a high number of tourists from both the UK and abroad, plus the athletes and companies participating in The Games, the demand for rental property in our area has increased. There is a high demand for properties near the Olympics’ Park and in and around Stratford to save commuting time and many landlords have looked for the best ways to capitalise on this,’ he explained.
‘However, although we have seen some rental price increases I have advised landlords to focus on keeping the prices realistic and not to demand too high a premium. While undoubtedly the London 2012 Games will help boost the economy and the rental income for some central London landlords, they still need to be realistic as accepting a good rental offer is better than being left with a vacant property,’ he added.
He also pointed out that although there is a huge demand for properties, there is also a wide supply of properties available.
‘Landlords must remember that they are competing directly with hotels and high quality properties,’ said Mahal.
While central London agents have reported some increased rental activity, agents on the outskirts of the city say that the impact of the Olympics has actually been fairly minimal.
‘I think the demand for properties around London is extremely high anyway so I’m not sure the Olympics have had that much impact. Some landlords have tried to increase rent for the Olympics period but, of course, there is only a defined amount of money out there and some of them have been unrealistic and failed to get any interest,’ said Carl Belle of Belvoir Ilford.
‘It’s important for landlords to be sensible and not get on the hype bandwagon of trying to achieve crazy levels of rent, especially if the property is nowhere near Stratford,’ he added.