London's resurgent rentals sector is leading a nationwide boom in private lettings that will change the face of the property market over the next decade.
Private renting now accounts for 27 per cent of all homes in the capital and has overtaken social renting, which accounts for 24 per cent.
Demand will continue to grow and attract a new breed of "corporate" landlord into this sector, while the total paid in rents by private renters is forecast to jump from £48 billion last year to £70 billion in 2016, according to an authoritative new report by Savills Research.
'Rental Britain is here to stay, and buy to let can't fill the gap. Rental stock will need to be delivered by the new-build market'
Seven inner-London boroughs will provide the best returns for investors over the next 10 years: Newham, Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, City of London, Southwark, Islington and Hackney.
"A shift to private renting may go against the nation's emotional attachment to home ownership but rental Britain is here to stay," says Lucian Cook, the report's author.
Buy to let cannot fill the gap alone, he adds. "Rapidly rising demand means rental stock will need to be delivered by the new-build market."
Already this is happening, with new landlord companies providing "branded" new-build blocks of private rental apartments. As with a mid-market hotel chain, there are set room rates, standardised interiors and a menu of paid-for extras.
ALL DONE ONLINE
Developers of the Athletes' Village at the Olympic Park in Stratford are retaining most of the 1,439 private homes for rent.
Another landlord entrant is Fizzy Living, which aims to build a portfolio of 1,000 flats in easily accessible commuter locations for young professionals in the 25-35 age bracket.
Rents at its debut scheme of 63 flats alongside Epsom train station will cost £950 a month for a furnished one-bedroom apartment, while two people sharing a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment will pay £650 a month each.
Long-term tenancies at reduced rates will be available. Typically, rent will be pegged at about 40 per cent of tenants' earnings to make it affordable.
Billed as a "lifestyle choice for the Facebook generation", the flats will be marketed through social media rather than through estate agents. Tenants will log into their account via an intranet to access phone, TV and broadband packages, furniture options and links to local businesses offering discounts. Potential sharers will be able to post their profile on the sharers' forum. Visit www.fizzyliving.com
Vida is another new rental company, launched by the owner of the Trocadero and Criterion buildings in Piccadilly. Its first scheme is a block of 138 flats in Rotherhithe, a handy midway point between the West End and Canary Wharf. Rents from £1,000 a month. Call Acorn on 020 7771 6777.
Young London, which manages hundreds of new-build rentals on behalf of developers and investors, targets young professionals who want to live close to the main employment hubs of the West End, City and Docklands.
New apartments at The Landmark, 500 metres from the Canary Wharf trading rooms, cost from £365 a week. At myBASE1, near London Bridge, rents start at £325 a week. Call 020 7593 3300 or visit www.younglondon.co.uk
Residential Land, which has 1,200 homes in central postcodes, offers flexible contracts, 24-hour management and furnished or unfurnished interiors. Rents range from £200 to £2,000 a week. Call 020 7408 5155.
London & Stamford, a property fund, has been busy snapping up blocks at new developments including Bridges Wharf, Battersea, and at Central Street, Clerkenwell.