DLR only line to buck the London Underground pandemic rental decline

The latest property market analysis by London lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has revealed that all but one line on the London Underground has seen rental market values fall as a result of the pandemic and the resulting reduction in demand from London tenants..

Benham and Reeves, analysed rental values surrounding each station on the London Underground and how they’ve been impacted by the pandemic.

The research shows that in December 2019, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK, the average cost of renting around a tube or DLR station sat at £2,215 per month. However, the latest figures show that this average monthly cost has since dropped to £2,007 – a decline of -9.4%. The Circle line has seen the largest drop of all lines, with the average cost of renting along the line as a whole falling -16% to £2,566 per month. The Victoria line has also seen a double-digit drop of -11%, down from an average of £2,227 per month prior to the pandemic to £1,982 currently. The Waterloo and City line (-8.6%), District (-8.1%) and Central lines (-7.1%) also rank within the top five lines to see the largest decline in the average cost of renting as a result of the pandemic.

Just one line has bucked the trend and that’s the DLR. Prior to the pandemic, the average cost of renting along the DLR was £1,647 per month. This has since climbed by 4.5% to £1,721 per month. The Hammersmith and City and Jubilee lines have seen the lowest reduction in the average cost of renting at -4.1% and -4.2% respectively, while the Met, Bakerloo, Northern and Piccadilly lines have all seen a 6%+ drop.

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented:

“The close proximity of a tube station has always been a very sought after feature amongst London’s tenants and this convenience has traditionally commanded a rental price premium as a result. However, with the pandemic forcing many to work from home, demand and rental values have fallen across London as a whole, with priorities shifting towards larger homes and green space as opposed to public transport availability.

The good news is that this downward trend is starting to reverse and as more of us have returned to the capital, rents are once again starting to climb. So while renting close to a tube station still remains more affordable at present, tenants looking to secure a bargain need to act now in order to do so. With many businesses planning a full return to the workplace in autumn, rental values are sure to bounce back imminently as a quick commute once again becomes a sought after rental property feature.”

Table shows the average cost of renting along each tube line and the chance between now and pre-pandemic rental levels
LineAverage rent pm – Dec 2019Average rent pm – Aug 2021Change (£)Change (%)
Hammersmith & City£2,056£1,972-£83-4.1%
Waterloo & City£3,637£3,323-£314-8.6%
Average of all stations£2,215£2,007-£208-9.4%
Rental values based on the average rent in each station outcode across each line. Data sourced from PropertyData (Dec 2019 – Aug 2021, latest available).

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