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Short-term let market remains popular in London

Rent Guarantor Jan 06, 2020

With short-term let’s still a popular option with property investors and landlords, particularly in London, it appears that the market is opening up more completely to include business travellers, rather than just recreational visitors. Building on success across Europe and the US a new firm is targeting London as one of the next cities in which it will provide property as a service for those travelling abroad for work for extended periods.

After experiencing first hand that hotel living is rarely what people who work abroad for months at a time really want, not to mention that’s also an expensive option for companies, a new business seeks to change that, by taking control of short-term property lets for business travellers. It’s a new investment avenue for short-term lets that could provide impressive returns, in yet another expansion of the UK’s rental market.

No AirBnB Lookalike

When many of us, including property investors, think about short-term lets, Airbnb and holidays lets immediately come to mind. However, Blueground is not another leisure holiday let business. Instead, they’ve taken a genuine need, where businesses who require their staff to travel around the world and work in different locations for a few months at a time, need comfortable accommodation for them.

While a hotel can provide luxury and all the services someone might need, it lacks a homeliness and sometimes the convenience a centrally located and fully-serviced apartment can provide. That’s where this new short-term let property-as-a-service company steps in.

Blueground rents out suitable apartments in central city areas, when it expands to London that will mean Zone 1. Then, it furnishes them in a suitable style for its clients and leases them for a certain period anywhere from one-to-12-months.

This short-term let option adds another bow to the industry, one that will benefit investors and tenants alike. The company also ensures that the location isn’t just central, but in the right areas of those central spots and close to the best amenities for their target clientele.

“Airbnb are a platform where people list their apartments, while they are in the leisure space,” said Blueground founder Alex Chatzieleftheriou. “The way we operate is we control the entire journey – we rent the apartment and design the property.

Looking ahead to planned expansion into England’s capital city, Chatzieleftheriou said: “London is a huge business hub and I think it will be our biggest market along with New York.”

Potential impact on London’s rental market?

London’s residential rental market is popular and busy with a wide variety of tenants from short-term weekend visitors to long-term, even life-time tenants. With that in mind and given that the company rents its properties rather than buys them, this will likely prove a broadly positive development for the UK’s rental market stock.

The reason for that view is because it’s expected that London’s growing population will continue to be more interested in the rental market than buying a property. In the meantime, the city remains a global business hub, attracting many different types of business-related visitors who prefer to use managed apartments that are in the right place for their needs.

The increasingly varied rental market suggests that demand for all types of homes and tenures will, at the very least, stick at current levels if not grow even further in the coming years. That’s why new ventures that promote even more choice of accommodation for the different visitors to the city are a positive development for London and the UK as a whole.

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