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Elizabeth Line drives competition among tenants as demand surges

Passengers run to catch one of the final westbound Elizabeth Line trains at Paddington Station, as British rail workers kicked off the new year with a week-long strike, in London, Britain, January 3, 2023.    REUTERS/Kevin Coombs
Tenant demand rises for stations further along Elizabeth Line. Photo: Kevin Coombs/Reuters (Kevin Coombs / reuters)

People have been looking to rent a place along the Elizabeth Line, with competition between future-tenants doubling in a single year.

The top three stations that have seen the biggest increase in tenant demand nearby are some of the furthest out on the line, with Reading topping the list (+32%), followed by Brentwood (+26%) and Shenfield (+25%), according to figures from Rightmove.

The average asking rent for a home in Reading is £1,401 per calendar month (pcm) and has risen by 10% over the last year, compared with an average of £2,501 pcm in London where asking rents for new tenants have risen by 14% over the last year.

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Read more: UK house prices jump to record high of £373,000 in May

Competition between tenants to rent a home in Ilford has nearly doubled in a year (+97%), the most around any Elizabeth Line station, followed by Manor Park (+86%) and Chadwell Heath (+80%).

The average asking rent in Ilford stands at £1,817, while Manor Park commands on average £1,924 for rent. In Chadwell Heath rents average £1,746 and landlords in Reading Station are charging £1,401.

“A shortage of available homes, record rents and the ability for many to work from home are all contributing to renters casting their net wider and exploring new areas to live in, in many cases further away from major cities. The Elizabeth Line has opened up new options for renters needing to commute to different areas of London, and in many cases with cheaper asking rents than typical London hotspots,” Rightmove’s property expert Tim Bannister said.

Read more: Property hotspots: We reveal the fastest place to sell a house in the UK

Far from being an Elizabeth Line phenomenon, demand continues to greatly outstrip supply in the rental market across the country, resulting in multiple tenants competing for the same properties in many areas of Great Britain.

Compared with 2019, tenant demand is up 42%, and the number of properties to rent is down by 48%.

For those trying to get on the housing ladder, Gidea Park is the most in-demand area near an Elizabeth Line station, followed by Brentwood & Shenfield, while Ealing Broadway has seen the biggest increase in asking prices.

The average asking price for a home near Ealing Broadway station has risen by 9% over the last year, and is now £886,251, up from £812,394 last year.

Watch: How much money do I need to buy a house?

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