Hotspots where searches for homes to rent have jumped in England revealed

Earl’s Court is out and Chessington is in for London renters searching for a new home, analysis has found.

Rightmove found a 40% fall in rental searches in the Earl’s Court area of London in August 2020, compared with the same month in 2019.

By contrast, searches for rental properties in Chessington, situated near Hampton Court Palace, have surged by 99% over the same period, according to analysis by Rightmove.

Vinesh Mistry, sales and lettings manager at Parry & Drewett in Chessington, said: “People want more space and bigger gardens now more than ever so houses are hugely in demand right now.

“We recently advertised a lovely two-bed Victorian cottage and had 125 viewing requests. We whittled that down to a shortlist of about half a dozen viewings and they all offered the asking rent, so you can see that the demand is there.

“I think a lot of the demand is due to more people being able to work from home, and we’ve got plenty of good shops and restaurants here to keep people busy without the place feeling packed.”

The study, based on over 60 million rental searches, suggests people are looking for quieter transport links. Searches for rental properties located in the Euston area were also down by 10% annually, while those in Clapham Junction fell by 9%.

Rightmove also found other hotspots elsewhere in England where property searches have jumped.

Cambridge view
Cambridge has had a surge in rental searches, according to Rightmove (Joe Giddens/PA)

Rental searches in Cambridge increased by 76% annually in August, while in Cirencester in Gloucestershire they increased by 75%.

In Oxford, searches increased by 64% and in Sale in Greater Manchester there was a 61% uplift, Rightmove said. The seaside town of Margate in Kent has seen a 60% increase in searches for rental homes.

Paula Bereznyckyj, head of residential lettings at Jackson-Stops’ Newmarket branch, said: “With Cambridge home to some of the country’s top research companies, we’re seeing professionals moving here for work, renting just outside of the city centre and commuting in…

“Those not in a position to buy are renting as an interim measure while they get to know Cambridgeshire and see if it is the right fit for them before committing to a permanent relocation.”

Sarah Bush, head of lettings at Cambridge-based Cheffins, said: “Employment and education are two major factors driving the popularity of Cambridge as a hotspot for people looking to rent property in the city. The science and bio-tech parks, which are on the city’s doorstep, bring with them a wealth of job opportunities.”

Rightmove property expert Miles Shipside said that as more people continue to work from home “and lesser significance is placed on living near a station to commute into central hubs, the appeal of living in quieter areas with more green spaces is becoming too attractive to ignore for tens of thousands of renters”.

Here are the top 10 biggest annual jumps in rental searches outside London, comparing August 2020 with the same month in 2019, according to Rightmove:

1. Cambridge, 76%

2. Cirencester, Gloucestershire, 75%

3. Oxford, 64%

=4. Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, 62%

=4. Gloucester, 62%

=4. Folkestone, Kent, 62%

=7. Sale, Greater Manchester, 61%

=7. High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, 61%

=9. Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, 60%

=9. Margate, Kent, 60%

And here are the 10 biggest annual increases in rental searches in London, comparing August 2020 with the same month in 2019:

1. Chessington, south-west London, 99%

2. South Norwood, south-east London, 83%

3. Barnet, north London, 70%

4. Colindale, north-west London, 67%

5. Barnes, south-west London, 64%

6. Muswell Hill, north London, 61%

=7. Kingston, Kingston upon Thames, 59%

=7. Winchmore Hill, north London, 59%

=9. Hackney Wick, east London, 58%

9. De Beauvoir Town, north London, 58%

Here are the 10 London areas with the biggest annual falls in rental searches, comparing August 2020 with the same month in 2019, according to Rightmove:

1. Earl’s Court, south-west London, minus 40%

2. West Kensington, west London, minus 25%

3. New Cross Gate, south-east London, minus 20%

4. Moorgate, central London, minus 17%

5. New Cross, south-east London, minus 14%

6. Earlsfield, south-west London, minus 13%

7. Southfields, south-west London, minus 11%

8. Euston, north-west London, minus 10%

9. Clapham Junction, south-west London, minus 9%

10. Barons Court, west London, minus 6%

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