To furnish or not to furnish?
The number of properties let part or fully furnished across England and Wales is increasing. Furnished properties account for 31% of properties let over the past year – up 3% year on year. Twice as many furnished apartments are let in comparison to houses.
The proportion of properties let furnished has increased in all regions of England and Wales, except for Yorkshire and the Humber, which has seen a slight decrease from a year ago. In London, two-thirds of apartments and half of houses are rented either part or fully furnished, which is significantly higher than any other region.
This is something that our lettings teams are noticing on a day to day basis. Andrew Shek, our Royal Wharf Lettings Manager, explains that ‘due to its location, many of our tenants are young professionals working in Canary Wharf or Bank who need convenient access to the DLR. As such many of these young professionals are looking for fully furnished units due to the transient nature of their work and the possibility they may need to relocate in the future.’
It’s a similar story in Canary Wharf where David McCooke, Lettings Manager, rarely sees unfurnished properties available to rent. ‘Almost all of our applicants require a furnished apartment. The only tenants we see that need unfurnished are those who are in the process of selling their home and are moving into rental accommodation.’
This surge in demand for furnished properties is replicated in our other London offices too, however, there are noticeable differences in terms of the type of renter and their needs. Our West Hampstead Lettings Manager, Georgina Tanner, says, ‘I tend to find that when letting bigger apartments and houses, tenants (especially families) will have their own furniture. Even families relocating from overseas are now shipping their furniture across with them when they move.’
For graduates, young professionals and those moving to the City for the first time, the thought of furnishing an apartment is a cost they simply cannot afford. Based on an estimated cost of £2,000–£2,500 to functionally furnish a two-bedroom apartment, for those renting it would take two to three years of living in a property to re-coup the cost of self-furnishing.