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Written by rosalind renshaw

 A shortage of stock and fierce competition for rental accommodation in London is sparking unprecedented  bidding wars between tenants.

Ludlow Thompson said that  rental properties are going to sealed bids as tenants fight it out for the few available properties.

Stephen Ludlow said: “In 20 years I have never seen rental properties moving as quickly as they have been recently.
 “There is a huge mismatch between supply and demand in the lettings market at the moment. A shortage of stock is driving up rents as a plethora of young people compete for the few properties available.  Rents are up 15–20% in some cases.”

He said demand has grown to such an extent that open house viewing sessions are becoming increasingly common for the best rental properties.

Prospective tenants are invited to view the property in quick succession and then asked to put down a holding deposit. If enough people register their interest, which has been happening frequently, they are invited to tender a sealed bid.

Ludlow comments: “It is just amazing how quickly properties are coming and going. We are literally securing agreements within days of listing the properties on our website.”

Cluttons report a similar story saying that there is record demand and restricted supply" the average time on market is now down to just five days. The firm has told applicants that they must be ready to pay a holding deposit immediately on viewing if they want to secure a property.

One property was let by its Islington office within 30 minutes of receiving the instruction. In similar vein, its Hyde Park office had the parent of one foreign student fly into the UK specifically to pay a year's rent up-front, rather than wait for an international transfer.

Marsh & Parsons said there are six applicants for every available rental property – and in places, there are 12.

The firm said landlords are now serving statutory notice on tenants in order to re-let properties at higher rents.

At Winkworth, tenant demand is up 14% on a year ago, but supply of properties is more than 50% lower.


  • Thats alright R16ht T1t, we all thought you were just thick based on the unfunny post you left on the Foxtons article

    • 01 October 2010 19:23 PM
  • Only a Ludow buffoon would write that. Its not even a well thought out plan. Executed poorly and you've been caught out. I look forward to seeing you crash and burn!

    • 01 October 2010 14:57 PM
  • Or how about putting all your efforts from moaning to the OFT into letting some of your own.

    • 01 October 2010 14:42 PM
  • I thought I smelt a rat! Rightmove is a showing a huge increase in Ludlow Thompson listings in the last 7 days, none with photos, all showing as let. This is across all LT branches. Naughty naughty. Someone is getting reported to the OFT.

    • 01 October 2010 14:17 PM
  • Business has certainly been brisk, but again the generalisation "London" is used. Some areas are busier than others, I certainly agree that there is a shortage of property out there on the market, the headache is getting more property to rent, but rents still remain competitive.

    • 01 October 2010 11:40 AM
  • The current rental market in east/Central London is literally dry of ANY proeprties, as in there is zero on the market.
    Tenants are having to stay in hotels and on friends sofas to avoid being homeless, it is genuinely that bad.
    All the properties that were rented this time last year are now on the sales market at ridiculously over inflated prices and are not selling, which is contributing to the shortage of available rental proeprties!

    • 01 October 2010 10:24 AM
  • excuse my poor spelling!!

    • 01 October 2010 09:57 AM
  • we had one letting ygoing through and a few das before the tenant was due to move the Landlord decided he wanted to sell, so the tenant's father bought the flat!!

    • 01 October 2010 09:56 AM